Home » Cricket, Sports » Umar Gul demolish South Africa Bating line
Mar
03

umar-gul-demolish-south-africaMohammed Hafeez and Umar Gul turned their tour around to take Pakistan to an emphatic victory and leapfrog three places on the ICC rankings to No.3. With the Durban match rained out, Pakistan also claimed the series and a piece of silverware to go along with the bragging rights.

With no Dale Steyn to contend with, Hafeez played with freedom and confidence. He became the first Pakistan batsmen to 1,000 Twenty20 runs and notched up his highest score in the format. Timing, placement and an 83-run stand with Ahmed Shehzad helped him set Pakistan up.

Gul showed no such subtlety. In the space of seven balls, he took four wickets to kneecap South Africa and end the contest. Good lengths to desperate batsmen were his razor blade and he sliced through with precision, setting the stage for Hafeez to land even more telling blows with ball in hand.

Pakistan 195 for 7 (Hafeez 86, Kleinveldt 2-27) v South Africa

Mohammed Hafeez turned his tour around as he became the first Pakistan batsman to score 1,000 Twenty20 runs and notched up his highest score in the format to propel his team to a big total in the deciding match against South Africa. With no Dale Steyn to contend with, Hafeez played with freedom and finally showed some of his class on this tour.

South Africa’s attack was flayed almost from the very beginning of their innings and may have been taken by surprise at Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad’s positive approach.

Shehzad was the more confident of the two openers and showed the first sign of his intent with a cut in the second over. Lonwabo Tsotsobe offered width and even though there was a third man prowling, Shehzad went on a Sehwag-esque upper cut and beat the fielder.

In the third over, the pair stepped up. Shehzad settled in against Kyle Abbott. He took on the full ball and the short one and seemed to enjoy the ball coming on at pace. Jamshed could not find his timing in the same way and after being hampered by what looked like a hand niggle, was cramped for room by Tsotsobe and played the ball straight to Justin Ontong at midwicket.

The very next ball, the South African fielders made the mistake that cost them. Hafeez cut the ball to Faf du Plessis at point and Shehzad had charged all the way up to the other end. Du Plessis’ throw missed the non-strikers’ stumps but went to mid-on, where Ontong had enough time to run Shehzad out. He also missed, letting Shehzad off a second time.

Shehzad did not make another mistake until much later. Instead, he went on to display power and placement in equal quantities. He launched Chris Morris over long-off to show his competency of the former and beat du Plessis, arguably the most agile fielder around, by opening the face of his bat to guide a slower ball for four in an elegant showing of the latter.

What characterised his 83-run second-wicket partnership with Hafeez was how well they both found gaps and timed their shots. Hafeez pulled when it wasn’t short enough but took advantage of the powerplay and lack of fielders outside the ring, he charged Robin Peterson with success and even managed to thread his defensive shots between fielders.

The area behind short fine-leg and backward point was a favourite of both the batsmen and they scored nine boundaries there between them. When they were at the crease, the run-rate remained above 10-an-over and a massive total was in sight.

But Shehzad could not time his running as well as his shots and he eventually fell on his sword. Hafeez reverse-swept Justin Ontong, brought on as du Plessis tried to keep the over-rate under control, wanted a run but Shehzad set off late. Morris’ throw from short third man was accurate and Shehzad had to go for 46.

Hafeez continued aggressively with Ontong and cow corner his new target. He nailed it three times in the 14th over to bring up his highest T20 score and set himself up to become a centurion in the format. With the time and the confidence to get there, it seemed nothing would stop Hafeez except himself. In a bizarre twist, he slid onto his stumps as he smashed a Rory Kleinveldt ball over the covers and was out hit wicket.

That sparked a mini collapse for Pakistan. They lost four wickets in the space of 19 balls as South Africa’s death bowling showed improvement. Kleinveldt, who had tried the slower ball to some effect earlier, picked up two wickets, with Chris Morris and Kyle Abbott also benefitting.

Only Kleinveldt may be able to salvage some pride from his bowling figures and the unit as a whole may salvage something in being able to keep Pakistan under 200.

– See more at: http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-pakistan-2013/content/current/story/623321.html#sthash.fDDTPZ00.dpuf

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