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Pakistan show their real mettle at last!


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Pakistan cricket players celebrate the dismissal of South Africa's Farhaan Behardien who was caught out by Ahmed Shehzad. -Photo by Reuters

CRASH, bang, wallop! That is what the T20 stuff is all about and a kind of carnival and more of a day out to enjoy power hitting and brilliant fielding. It touches the sense and sensibilities of those who do not have time to spare for the longer format of the game, that is Test cricket which has its own following and charm, and in fact is the mother of all cricket.

Pakistan having lost the Test series were obviously in low spirits and not in the best of health as far as their cricket goes in the longer format of the game.

Their emphatic victory in the second Twenty20 at the SuperSport Park over South Africa by 95 runs was a kind of much-needed jab in the arm of a side which only a couple of days ago were down in the mire and in the process of recovering from the shock.

They certainly did come up trumps proving that when it comes to playing in the limited format of the game they can still stick their neck out to prove they are not a pushover by any means.

Batting first they did show that their captain Mohammad Hafeez does have an iota of confidence that his team were capable of toppling the favourites South Africa.

Ahmed Shehzad, in fact, set the tone while executing blazing cover drives and straight drives past the bowlers as well as clouting them overhead for a couple of sixes. Hafeez in turn also pounced on the opportunity taking full advantage of over-pitched and short deliveries to hit hard and high at times to the delight of a packed house which enjoyed their outing uninterrupted by the vagaries of the weather which disappointed them when the first match was washed out at Durban.

Ahmed’s 46 and Hafeez’s 86 did the job for Pakistan despite failures of Shoaib Malik and the Akmal brothers — Kamran and Umar. Shahid Afridi did not have much of a chance to come into his own, but did show that he meant business.

By my calculations Pakistan should have scored 225. But tumbling wickets in later stages did provide some hope for Faf de Plessis’ colleagues.

Things, however, were not in favour of the hosts who continued to fail against Pakistan bowling. A B de Villiers showed aggressive intent before Mohammad Irfan disturbed his wicket. That I would say was the only resistance which Pakistan bowlers encountered before South Africa perished for 100 in 12.2 overs which obviously was the marked difference between the two teams.

Umar Gul, though not in his elements in Tests, bowled spiritedly to bag five wickets for six runs in 2.2 overs with full support from Hafeez who also once again proved himself useful in the limited-overs games.

The win prior to the ODI series starting from March 10 in Bloemfontein would obviously help those who will now be gearing up to show as much agility and form as the T20 team did.

Comments (17) Closed

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Mar 04, 2013 05:54pm
Well done 'green-shirts.' Credit must be given where it is due and in this case, notwithstanding what happened in the three test match series, Hafeez and party deserves all praises and applause for totally out-playing their formidable rivals in all three 'on the field' departments of the game. Cricket fraternity must also realize and understand that South Africa is by far, one of the top cricket teams in the world in any format, design and type of the game. Beating them on their home soil is no mean affair by any standards or classification. On behalf of the global cricket fraternity, I will advise all neutral and third party cricket fans, lovers of the game, players, supporters, sponsors, umpires, organizers and affiliates to sit back, relax and enjoy rest of the up-coming ODI matches between Pakistan and South Africa because there might be a few surprises for everybody including friends and foes, allies and adversaries in those matches. Everybody knows that on their day, the Pakistani cricket team is definitely capable of turning the tables on any team in the world and even a good team like South Africa is no exception to it.
Ahmed Mar 04, 2013 08:17pm
What rubbish!!! One match we win and the praises start. A test defeat nay a whitewash (with an innings defeat) is the highest possible humiliation in international cricket. One insignificant win in the lowest form of international cricket and we have suddenly shown our mettle? I have a very high regard for the journalism of the Dawn newspaper, but that regard is eroding at God speed amongst other things by articles like these.
nukhan Mar 04, 2013 07:02pm
what is this excitement, this win in t-20 against the second tier team ?. pakistan needs to be consistent across all formats of games. be humble in your wins.
Yogesh Mar 04, 2013 05:00pm
SA was absent steyn,morkel,de lange , amla. This was at best SA B team.
s.m.mustafa. Mar 04, 2013 04:30pm
true the real test was in the test and the team failed like a teenager.lot of people are very happy with yesterdays result but every one knows how was the african side. the real test will be in odis when pak will face a full flage side.still pakistan is lacking a good solid allrounder. abdul razzaq or hammad azam or both should be in the side. again umar akmal got a chance by the selectors which is not understandable. how many times he will get chance. every time he prooves that how irresponsible player he is and again and again he is getting chances. we all pray for a good result but chances are very slim. best of luck for the team.
abbastoronto Mar 04, 2013 02:24pm
America is not UK, and Baseball is not Cricket. America abandoned the latter to adopt the fast pace former. T20 is not Test Cricket. Pakistanis like fast pace actions. Time to say goodbye to Test Cricket, and adopt the CricketBall that T20 is.
Indian Mar 05, 2013 12:09pm
actually we in India are busy celebrating our teams 2-0 series lead against Australia ..... and we lost all interest in Paki cricket ........ sorry boys .... an 85 run win in T-20 would not take away the stigma of your record lowest test total and the recent series clean sweep .. the current state of your cricket is like your country ...."hopeless" would be the appropriate word.......
Gul.Khan Mar 04, 2013 04:39pm
If Misbah is sacked for good.mark my words that pakistan will win more matches than she loses appoint Younis Khan Test Captain.Hafeez for ODIs & Shahid Bhai as t20 Captain. PS.Misbah should not be picked eve for Test matches. G.Khan
Karthik Mar 04, 2013 03:05pm
Actually did. :-)
Iqbal Mar 04, 2013 03:06pm
the current team is a T-20 Team
Sporty Mar 04, 2013 12:38pm
I dont see any individual from other side of the fence commenting on this brilliant piece of news ? I am not surprised *Wink*
Indian Mar 05, 2013 12:13pm
may be you should back out of all the other formats of cricket then .....
ali Mar 04, 2013 01:47pm
This was not a real mettle,The real mettle was shown in the test series, this was just a one time show.
Arif Mar 05, 2013 02:24am
This is all the Pakistan team is good for these days. T20 cricket! Unfortunately their mentality is only limited to T20 format. This is why they lost the test series.......they were trying to play T20 cricket in tests!!
ahmed2030 Mar 05, 2013 07:28am
I think Pakistan needed to be a bit more agressive in tests, although all odds were stacked against them, namely, world's best bowlers, pitches, rules and even umpiring decisions. Its a little wonder that Azhar Ali, Misbah and partially speaking Younus and Asad were not playing in this format. All these four batsmen especially Azhar and Misbah can get into their shell enabling opposition bowler to bowl to them according to a plan. Our bowlers looked complete novices in tests. Umar Gul is primarily a shorter format bowler, not a test bowler.
Hasan Mar 05, 2013 07:38am
Oh c'mon man! Lets stop the provocation. Besides they too are playing really well against Australia. Kudos to them!
rohit Mar 05, 2013 08:38am
t20 is blind man's cricket any body can hit and run away with it, as rightly said real test is test need to prove yourself in every format in order to suceed other wise forget it....any way win is win deserve to be celebrated but pakistan got lot of loopholes in batting and fielding sort that out.....