Pakistan vs South Africa 2nd T20: Du Plessis and Parnell guide South Africa to victory in nail-biting finish

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Du Plessis’ outstanding knock of 58 helped South Africa whitewash Pakistan 2-0

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, who scored a spectacular half-century, and left-arm pace bowler Wayne Parnell, who picked up three wickets, helped the Proteas register a thrilling six-win run over Pakistan in the second Twenty2o International in Dubai.

Du Plessis and Parnell were well supported by the rest of their team-mates as South Africa went on to whitewash Pakistan 2-0. 

Du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first.

Opening batsman Quinton de Kock got off to a brisk start, scoring 30 runs in quick fashion, but he was eventually caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal when attempting one slog shot too many.

During de Kock’s quickfire innings, Pakistan were dealt a huge blow as pace bowler Mohammad Irfan was forced to leave the field with a suspected hip injury.

Hashim Amla and du Plessis made up for the early loss of de Kock as they registered a brilliant 78-run partnership before Amla threw his wicket away on 48 when he hoicked a delivery from Ajmal straight down Shoaib Malik’s throat at midwicket.

Amla’s excellent knock of 48 came off 41 balls and included three boundaries and two sixes.

AB de Villiers failed to make a major contribution with the bat as he was caught at long-on for just five runs.

David Miller was dismissed the very next over as he was given out lbw for four runs to become Ajmal’s third victim of the day.

Despite wickets falling in quick succession, du Plessis concentrated on the task at hand and ended up recording his fourth Twenty20 half-century.

Thanks to du Plessis’ unbeaten 58 off 48 deliveries, which included one boundary and three maximums, South Africa were able to post a respectable score of 150 at then end of their 20 overs.

Ajmal was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three wickets, while Sohail Tanvir snapped up two.

Chasing 151 to win, Pakistan got off to a solid start before opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad attempted a hook shot off the first ball Parnell bowled, which ended up falling into the hands of Ryan McLaren at fine leg.

Pakistan were dealt another blow the very next ball when Mohammad Hafeez was the victim of some shoddy umpiring as he was given out lbw, despite the ball hitting him way above the pads.

Replays showed that the ball was nowhere near to hitting the stumps.

Things went from bad to worse for Pakistan as Nasir Jamshed was on his way back to the pavilion the very next over when he chased after an extremely wide delivery from Henry Davids on 19 and only succeeded in edging the ball to Amla at short third man.

Despite making an encouraging start, Malik received a brutal bouncer from Parnell which hit him right on the finger.

Even though the physiotherapist tried to solve the problem, Malik was in too much discomfort to continue batting and he was escorted off the pitch.

Pakistan wicketkeeper Umar Akmal failed to make a major contribution with the bat as he was dismissed for 11 after hooking a delivery from McLaren straight to Imran Tahir at fine leg.

Tahir struck twice in two balls in the very next over as Malik, who returned after being hit on the finger, chopped the ball onto his stumps before Abdul Razzaq was completely bamboozled by the first delivery he faced and was left staring in disbelief as the woodwork was disturbed.

Parnell returned with a vengeance as he dismissed Shoaib Maqsood for 37.

Maqsood tried to force the ball down the leg side, but de Kock had other ideas as he pulled off a stunning catch to remove the danger man.

Sohail Tanvir was the next man to go as he completely missed a lofted cover drive and had his stumps rearranged by Dale Steyn.

Veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi tried to inspire Pakistan to a come-from-behind win and even succeeded in launching a huge six off the bowling of McLaren, but his dreams were dashed when he was brilliantly caught by du Plessis at mid-off to become Steyn’s second victim of the day. 

Afridi’s wicket was the final nail in the coffin for Pakistan as Ajmal and Irfan, who sustained a suspected hip injury while bowling, failed to score the runs required to win. 

Parnell was the most successful South African bowler with three wickets, while Steyn and Tahir snapped up two wickets apiece and McLaren and Davids chipped in with one wicket each. 

Hafeez was extremely disappointed that Pakistan had squandered an excellent opportunity to end the series as a 1-1 tie. 

“I think this is the sequence of the series,” he said. “Not finishing games very well. When we needed to play normal cricket, we didn’t handle the pressure. Credit goes to SA for bowling in the right areas. Every time we thought we were there, we couldn’t finish it.

“The middle and lower order are not doing the job that is required. Finishing is required in this team. Whatever the requirement of the team we have to do accordingly. There are some positives: Masqood, Shehzad and Nasir. Every individual has to lift themselves up for the team. I think Irfan is doubtful (for return series in SA) and I think he is struggling at the moment.”

Du Plessis, who picked up both the Man of the Match and Man of the Series award, was over the moon at having whitewashed Pakistan in their own backyard. 

“It’s a great achievement by the team,” he said. “We played really well under pressure. We said we wanted to come here and 2-0 and we did that. There were times when Pakistan played really well and came back into the game.

“Our bowlers and fielders performed well. As a bowling unit we have certainly grown a lot over the last couple of months. Credit to them for the time and effort they have put into it.

“There is always room for improvement. We are not the finished article, but we are on our way. Nice to be back in SA and looking forward to another series against Pakistan. We will try to beat them 2-0 again.”

2 thoughts on “Pakistan vs South Africa 2nd T20: Du Plessis and Parnell guide South Africa to victory in nail-biting finish

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