September 28, 2012
Brilliant innings from Umar Akmal and Umar Gul ensured that Pakistan snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Chasing 134 for victory, Pakistan were reeling at 76-7, before Akmal, Gul put on 49 runs for 8th vicket to swing it back in Pakistan's favour.
Gul was the aggresor of the two as he smoked three sixes and two boundaries, while Akmal remained unbeaten on 41-ball 43, which helped the subcontinent giants get out of jail.
Steyn was the pick of the bowlers with 3-22, while Robin Peterson managed with 2-15.
Umar Gul departs after a brilliant 17-ball 32, which changed the complexion of the game.
Gul looking for another big hit was caught in the deep by Robin Peterson.
Pakistan need 9 runs off the final over.
Umar Gul's power hitting has changed the complexion of the game.
Gul came in when Pakistan were reeling at 76-7, then smoked three sixes and couple of boundaries to turn the tide in Pakistan's favour.
Umar Akmal is giving him good company with 34-ball 32. At the end of 18 overs Pakistan were 119-7, still requiring 15 runs off 12 balls.
An inspired South Africa have Pakistan reeling after their spinners and pacers have decimated them to 76-7 from 15 overs.
Yasir Arafat the latest victim who was taken brilliantly at short midwicket by JP Duminy for 3.
Afarat was done in by a lovely slower bouncer as he fended it off, where Duminy took a diving catch, much to the delight of Proteas.
Pakistan still require 58 runs off 30 balls, but more importantly they need a partnership for now.
Pakistan are making the task tough for themselves as they contiune to lose wickets at regular intervals.
The latest victim being Shoaib Malik who gave a simple catch to Dale Steyn in the third man off Kallis for 13.
And as we speak they lose boom boom Afridi too giving a dolly to Albie Morkel off JP Duminy for nought.
Pakistan 63-6 after 12.1 overs.
After a maiden from Robin Peterson, it was Johan Botha's time to get into the act.
Botha got the fourth Pakistan wicket when he castled Kamran Akmal for one, in his first over itself.
Akmal trying to play a cheeky shot missed the ball -- ball crashed onto the off stump off Botha's second ball.
Pakistan really struggling now at 37-4 chasing 134.
Dale Steyn gets the breakthrough for South Africa as he removes Imran Nazir for 14.
A slower bouncer from Steyn as Nazir goes for a pull getting a faint edge -- De Villers taking a diving catch in fornt.
In the next over, the other openers depart as Hafeez gifts his wicket to Robin Peterson for 15.
Good bowling from Peterson as he beat him in flight and was stumped by DeVilliers.
Suddenly Pakistan are struggling now at 31-3 after 4 overs.
Pakistan openers are off to a flying start with a flurry of boundaries in the initial overs.
Mohammad Hafeez started the run chase with a consecutive boundaires off Dale Steyn and then Imran Nazir too got in the act with consecutive boundaries off Morne Morkel.
At the end of 2 overs, Pakistan were 20-0.
A brilliant 38-ball 48 from JP Duminy helped South Africa to post 133-6 after a sluggish start to their innings.
The Proteas were struggling at one stage at 28-3, before he alongwith Behardien steadied the innings, then along with AB de Villiers played some big hit to take the score past 120-run mark.
Pakistan spinners kept a tight check on batters with Mohammad Hafeez and Yasir Arafat picking up 2-wickets apiece.
Besides Duminy, AB de Villiers made an 18-ball 25.
JP Duminy is leading the fight for the Proteas along with AB de Villiers who is giving good company to him.
In the final over of Saeed Ajmal, de Villiers managed to smash 2 boundaries, which was long due.
With just three oves to go, Proteas will look to use the long handle to good effect, with Albie Morkel and Johan Botha still in the dug out.
And as we speak Umar Gul accounts for AB de Villiers who hit is straight to Imran Nazir for 25.
South Africa 110-5.
The going has been tough for South Africa as the spinners have kept a tight check on the batters.
After losing three quick wickets up front, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien are trying their best to revive the innings with odd boundaries and sixes.
And as we speak, Hafeez removes Behardien as he chips down the track looking to smash one over the top -- missing the ball completly.
Kamran Akmal does the formalites as the Proteas lose their fourth wicket for 66.
Mohammad Hafeez comes into the attack and he STRIKES!!!!
South Africa reeling now as Kallis is on his way back to the pavillion after giving a simple catch to Shahid Afridi in covers.
Pakistan also have Afridi and Shoaib Malik as spinners if they want to use.
South Africa 39-3 after 9 overs.
Richard Levi and Jacques Kallis are playing some quiet overs as Saeed Ajmal comes to bowl.
First up an arm ball from Ajmal as Kallis misses -- phew!! that was close.
The spinners are keeping it tight. And as we speak, Ajmal castles Levi for 8.
An ugly shot from Levi as he went in for a reverse sweep. The ball spun in between his legs to hit the middle stump.
Yasir Arafat strikes for Pakistan as he removes Hashim Amla for 6.
After a regulation miss from Kamran Akmal, Arafat decieves Amla with a wonderful slower one as he chips one to Shoaib Malik in the covers.
South Africa 9-1 after 2 overs.
South African openers are out in the middle as Raza Hasan will open the bowling for Pakistan.
Good move considering Richard Levi is on strike. Levi drives one down the ground for a single.
Hashim Amla, meanwhile clips one through midwicket for a couple -- working from off to leg.
Amla chips down the track, edges the ball as it turned viciously -- but a fumble from Akmal gives him a chance.
South Africa 3-0 after 1 over.
Welcome to the live coverage of Group 2 clash between Pakistan and South Africa here in Colombo.
Both teams finished top of their respective groups and will look to make their mark straightaway.
The pitch looks to be a belter with spin in so it will be interesting what combination with both teams field with.
Meanwhile in the middle, AB de Villiers has won the toss and has elected to bat first on a bright sunny day here.
The Proteas have made one change to their side bringing in Robin Peterson in place of Faf du Plessis.
Pakistan captain reckons that the pitch will be good throughout so doesn't mind bowling. They have made one change to their side bringing in left-arm spinner Raza Hasan in place of Sohail Tanvir.