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South Africa sweep Twenty20 series

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010, 10:48 [IST]
 
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South Africa sweep Twenty20 series

South Africa demonstrated admirable professionalism to repeat its defeat of Pakistan and lift the Twenty20 series cup in the UAE. Once again Pakistan's batting was a let-down, crumbling to a poor 120, which was all too little for even its capable bowling attack to defend.

As in the first match, South Africa's batting was solid and though Graeme Smith was a little slow off the mark, the middle order pushed the scoring rate remarkably well to reach the set target with ease. Smith's opening stand of 38 came off 42 balls and when he was stumped off Saeed Ajmal in the 14th over with still 53 runs to get, Pakistan may have thought they were in with a chance.

But J P Duminy (20*) and Colin Ingram (31) shattered its hopes with a combination and some deft and powerful strokeplay. Ingram pulled Umar Gul for a boundary before dispatching Shoaib Akhtar for two fours and a six in the 17th over. By the time Ingram went - holing out to long on - the contest was all but over with Duminy and David Miller left to add the finishing touches. Meanwhile, Afridi and Hafeez strangled the run-flow a bit, but Shoaib and Gul turned out to be expensive, going for 68 runs between them.

Pakistan's batting disappointed right from the start. The openers once again, went cheaply, both getting out to paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe who bowled with relentless accuracy. Shahzaid Hasan departed after attempting a shabby slog, while Imran Farhat was out bowled while trying an extravagant heave.

There was nothing much by way of a revival in the middle-order either. Mohammad Hafeez played a couple of attractive strokes but didn't last long. He lost his stumps while appearing undecided about his shot. Umar Akmal was run out after an ugly mix-up with Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Africa landed a cut right in the hands of Rusty Theron at deep point. Abdul Razzak struck a couple of lusty sixes, but his luck ran out when he hit a full toss to Theron at mid-off.

Once again, Misbah was left with the task of taking Pakistan to a respectable total. But his unsteady knock seemed without purpose till the last couple of overs when he showed some grit. He went for a couple of big hits, kneeling to smash a six over wide long-on and swatting one to to the square-leg boundary. But that was all he could manage.
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South Africa's bowling perhaps appeared better than it was in the face of Pakistan's atrocious batting. After Tsotsobe's hostile opening spell, Botha thwarted the runs in the middle-over and was ably supported by Rusty Theron who picked up a haul of four wickets. In the end, it was game, set and match to South Africa as they wrapped up the series, leaving a hapless Pakistan to ponder what went wrong.

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