Monday, 4 March 2013

Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Gul put woes behind them to give Pakistan win

Captain Mohammad Hafeez and bowler Umar Gul put their test woes behind them as Pakistan beat South Africa by 95 runs on Sunday to win the two-match Twenty20 series 1-0.

Hafeez scored 86 off 65 balls to anchor a strong batting display at Centurion as Pakistan slammed the home side's attack to all corners and finished with 195 for seven from their 20 overs.

Gul then took four wickets in a spell of seven balls to rip the heart out of South Africa's response and condemn them to 100 all out - their lowest total in a T20 international.

The bowler, who along with Hafeez had been poor in the test series where South Africa completed a 3-0 whitewash, finished with figures of five wickets for six runs to match his best in Twenty20.

"Our mindset was clear, we had to be positive. We were eager to perform well because we didn't have a good time in the test matches," Hafeez said as he accepted the man-of-the-match award.

Hafeez produced a particularly aggressive innings, flaying the South African attack with four sixes as he became the first Pakistani past 1,000 runs in international T20 cricket.

He also took three wickets in South Africa's reply but his contribution came after Gul, the leading wicket taker in T20 internationals, had decimated the home batting.

Gul took 4-4 in his first two-over spell as three of his victims fell first ball.

Opener Ahmed Shehzad also produced a noteworthy contribution with 46 runs, followed by two outstanding catches at third man.

Friday's opening Twenty20 in Durban was rained off.

Pakistan and South Africa next play a five-match one-day international series, starting in Bloemfontein next Sunday. (Reuters)

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