South Africa crush Pakistan in Twenty20
by AFP

Ground:New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Scorecard:South Africa v Pakistan
Player:AC Thomas, GC Smith, LE Bosman, Zulqarnain Haider
Event:Pakistan in South Africa 2006/07

DateLine: 2nd February 2007


Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman pounded the Pakistan bowlers as South Africa raced to a ten-wicket win in a Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium Friday.


Pakistan struggled to 129 for eight after being sent in, with only two batsmen reaching 20 against South Africa's all-pace attack on a hot, humid evening in which the bowlers were able to swing the ball and get movement off the pitch.


But any demons in the pitch seemed to disappear as Smith and Bosman went on an all-out attack as they took South Africa to 132 for no wicket off only 11.3 overs.


It was the highest partnership in the short history of 20-overs internationals.


Smith smashed 71 not out off 40 balls with nine fours and four sixes, finishing the match with a six off Shahid Afridi, while Bosman was unbeaten on 53 off 32 balls with five fours and two sixes.


Smith, playing in his fifth 20-overs international, became the first batsman to score three half-centuries in the shortest form of the international game.


The two innings were in complete contrast, with the Pakistan batsmen struggling against the South African bowlers.


New cap Alfonso Thomas, who took a wicket with his first ball in international cricket, took three for 25.


A last over which brought 18 runs, including two sixes by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan off Johan van der Wath, gave Pakistan some hope, which was quickly extinguished by Smith and Bosman.


Despite the conditions, Pakistan looked set for a good total when Kamran Akmal (21) and Mohammad Hafeez (25) put on 47 off 35 balls for the second wicket.


But Hafeez chipped a catch to cover off the last ball of Shaun Pollock's four-over spell and Pakistan quickly lost two more wickets, while Shahid Afridi had to retire hurt before he had scored after he was hit in the groin by a ball from Roger Telemachus.


Afridi returned at the fall of the fifth wicket but made only seven off 17 balls before being caught off a wild slog against Thomas, who gained impressive away swing and showed good control.


A rain interruption at 76 for four after 11.4 overs was another setback for the Pakistan innings.


The last over provided the drama of the innings.


Naved-ul-Hasan was dropped when he swung at Van der Wath and top-edged the ball. Wicketkeeper AB de Villiers ran back but could not hold the chance.


It proved costly because Naved slammed the last two balls of the innings over square leg for six to finish with 17 not out off seven balls.


Chasing a small target, South Africa made a flying start, with Smith and the hard-hitting Bosman going for their shots and raising the 50 off the first ball of the sixth over.


Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, still struggling with a back injury he suffered in the final Test in Cape Town, sat out the match in the hope of being fit for the first one-day international at Centurion Sunday.


Leading batsman Mohammad Yousuf and fast bowling discovery Mohammad Asif were both rested.


South Africa rested several of their key players, including Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Makhaya Ntini and Andre Nel ahead of the one-day series.


South Africa went into the match with a record of one win from four Twenty20 internationals, while Pakistan won their only previous encounter in the shortest version of the game, against England last year.

(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)


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