AB stands tall as SA crash to 95 run defeat
AB de Villiers starred with a quickfire 36 in South Africa’s 95 run loss to Pakistan in the second and final T20I of their tour at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday.
Pakistan’s win here followed the rained off T20I at Durban on Friday and gave them the series 1-0.
Earlier, Pakistan’s T20I skipper Mohammad Hafeez (86, 51b, 9x4, 4x6) chose to bat first and added 83 runs with Ahmed Shehzad (46, 25b, 4x6, 2x6) for the second wicket to set up a strong base. SA’s greenhorn attack managed to pull back the Pakistani lower order, keeping them to 195/7 after 20 overs from being 154/2 after 14 overs.
Having relinquished the T20 captaincy role to Faf du Plessis in the build up to this series, de Villiers opened the batting for SA. His shots were marvellous, he lifted Junaid Khan over extra cover for six before going after Mohammad Irfan and taking 14 runs off his over.
Umar Gul though finished the contest quite early, taking 3 wickets for 3 runs in his first over, the fifth of SA’s innings. AB (36, 22b 4x4 2x6) edged a yorker from Irfan onto his stumps in the next over before Gul returned to remove Farhaan Behardien. In the space of 12 balls, SA had gone from 50/1 to 53/6.
Hafeez found success with the ball, Shehzad taking a great catch to send back David Miller (9) before Rory Kleinveldt (22, 7b, 1x4, 3x6) and Robin Peterson (13, 14b, 1x4) swung their bats to mangle Saeed Ajmal’s figures (2-0-19-0) in a 31 run partnership for the 8th wicket. Kleinveldt struck Hafeez for two sixes before both he and Peterson were sent back off consecutive deliveries, leaving SA on 98/9. Gul returned in the next over to get debutant Kyle Abbott, finishing with the stunning figures of 5/6 as SA were bowled out for 100 in just 12.2 overs.
The massive 95 run win helped Pakistan move from no. 6 to no. 3 on the ICC Twenty20 Rankings chart. Gul’s 5/6 is his second haul of 5/6 in T20Is, the first one came against New Zealand in a 2009 ICC World Twenty fixture at the Oval in London.
Hafeez who made 86 and finished with 3/23 during the defense was adjudged the Man of the Match.