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Seamers set up win for South Africa

Dale Steyn leads South African attack to restrict Pakistan for 98 for 9; Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis knock off the runs in quick time

Seamers set up win for South Africa - Cricket News
South Africa's bowler Dale Steyn celebrates with teammates after clean bowling to Pakistan's batsman.

South Africa romped to a one-sided victory in the first of two Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan on Wednesday(November 13) when it restricted the home side to a miserable 98 for 9 and knocked the runs off in just 14.3 overs.

The rot started immediately after the start of the game for Pakistan when Dale Steyn claimed two wickets in his first over to reduce it to 4 for 3 after Lonwabo Tsotsobe had Ahmed Shehzad caught at slip in his first over. Steyn found the outside edge of Sohaib Maqsood’s bat with his fourth delivery and did the same to Mohammad Hafeez two balls later. It was the 12th time in 18 innings that Hafeez had perished to Steyn across three formats of the game.

Shahid Afridi’s promotion to No. 3 came to nothing when he paddled a short ball from Tsotsobe straight to deep square-leg. Rarely has a top-order batsman been so regularly and awkwardly exposed by the same delivery for such a prolonged period.

Umar Akmal provided the only relief for a beleaguered Pakistan team with a fighting 49 from 41 deliveries with four boundaries and a six but there was nothing in the way of meaningful support from anyone else.

Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir were both stumped off wides from Imran Tahir – the first outside off stump, the second well past leg stump. Meanwhile, Abdul Razzaq’s eagerly-awaited return to the international stage ended with a tame pull to long on.

Steyn knocked over Saeed Ajmal with the final ball of the innings to end with 3 for 15 in his four overs while Tsotsobe had the remarkable analysis of 4-2-9-2. Tahir bowled plenty of loose deliveries but, riding the wave of success he enjoyed during the One-Day International series, still finished with 2 for 17 from his full allocation.

When South Africa replied, Hashim Amla was bowled around his legs by Tanvir, but the lack of celebration in just the third over confirmed that even Pakistan’s players knew it was a lost cause.

Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis finished the job in crushing fashion – defending good balls but ruthlessly dispatching everything else during an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 83. Mohammad Irfan’s two overs cost just seven runs and Ajmal bowled his four for just 12, but de Kock and du Plessis both hit Abdur Rehman for a six in his solitary over, which cost 18, and effectively ended the contest.

Pakistan had the chance to reach the No. 1 ranking in T20Is if it won both matches in the series, but it never even arrived for the contest. Once again, as was the case during the ODI series, it looked utterly devoid of a plan.

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