South Africa beats Pakistan in 1st Twenty20
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe tormented Pakistan batting by sharing five wickets between them as South Africa’s secured a convincing nine-wicket victory in their first Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
Steyn grabbed 3-15 and Tsotsobe took 2-9 off an impressive four-over spell which restricted Pakistan to 98-9 — its lowest ever Twenty20 total against the Proteas.
Umar Akmal top scored with 49 off 41 balls before he was run out in the last over.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock hit an unbeaten 48 off 38 balls — including three fours and two sixes, as South Africa raced to 99-1 in just 14.3 overs.
De Kock, 20, added 83 runs with captain Faf du Plessis (37 not out) off 73 balls in a quick run-chase.
“It was a pretty good game and that’s how you want to start the series by breaking their back initially,” du Plessis said.
“De Kock is playing beautifully, it’s a nice purple patch for him and hopefully he’ll keep going for us.”
Steyn and Tsotsobe had Pakistan in disarray, reducing their opponents to 3-4 within the first two overs after Mohammad Hafeez won the toss and elected to bat.
Tsotsobe had Ahmad Shahzad caught in the slip by Hashim Amla off his fifth delivery and Steyn delivered a double blow — having Sohaib Maqsood (4) and Mohammad Hafeez (0) caught behind.
Shahid Afridi, who was promoted to No. 3 with the aim of adding some quick runs, holed out in the deep off Tsotsobe for just 10 runs as the leftarm seamer bowled to a tidy line and length.
Pakistan failed to recover from its early setbacks, with legspinner Imran Tahir having Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir stumped off wide deliveries.
“The early wickets did the damage and the South Africa bowlers really bowled to their plans,” Hafeez said. “Our batsmen are not taking the responsibility...it’s not magic and as a batsman you have to look for runs and partnerships.”
Umar Akmal was lucky not to be given out stumped on 21 and hit successive boundaries off Wayne Parnell to score 49 off 41 balls, before he was run out by de Kock in the last over.
Steyn returned and bowled another two overs, conceding just seven runs, and claiming Saeed Ajmal’s wicket off the last ball of the innings.
Pakistan’s woes in the field continued when Maqsood reacted slowly in the first slip and dropped Amla (13) off the very first ball of Hafeez.
Sohail Tanvir knocked back Amla’s leg stump in the third over before de Kock and du Plessis scored at will in an unblemished second wicket stand that included two sixes and a four in leftarm spinner Abdul Rehman’s one over.
The second and final match of the series will be played at the same venue on Friday.