Gul blasts Pakistan to victory over SA
28/9/12- Pakistan 136-8 19.4 overs (U Akmal 43*, Steyn 3-22) beat South Africa 133-6 20 overs (Duminy 48) by 2 wickets @ Colombo
Pakistan have beaten South Africa by 2 wickets in the respective teams opening game of the Super 8’s, thanks largely to an unlikely source with the bat.
AB de Villiers chose to bat first, but lost Amla, Levi and Kallis early, and runs were seemingly hard to come by. The skipper and JP Duminy began to rebuild the innings after Behardien was then dismissed, taking their side over 100 in the 17th over. However, de Villiers couldn’t see out the 20 overs, and former Surrey all rounder Yasir Arafat removed Duminy, as the South Africans could only muster a below par effort of 133-6.
Pakistan knew that if they batted anywhere near the way they have been in the last few games, the target of 134 would have been a stroll. However, Pakistan, known for their consistency, quickly fell to 37-4 in the 7th over, with danger men Jamshed and Nazir two of the four out. The innings was falling apart, as Malik and Arafat then went either side of a Shahid Afridi golden duck. Pakistan required 68 off 33 balls with 3 wickets left, and victory seemed to be South Africa’s, but you should never write off Pakistan. Umar Gul, known for his superb death bowling, hit a fantastic innings of 32, including 3 sixes, in a partnership of 49 with Umar Akmal, as Pakistan completed a most unlikely of victories with 2 balls remaining.
South Africa must be wondering what went wrong today. They batting was very below par, and I can’t remember the last time Amla (8) didn’t get to double figures. The victory was stolen out of the palms of their hands today by Pakistan, who will feel extra rejuvenated after that victory, and are a serious contender for the Trophy.
Man of the Match: Umar Gul for his wonderful 17 ball 32. Without him, Pakistan would have struggled to get to 100, and it shows the amount of all round talent that this side has.
Watson and Warner destroy India
28/9/12- Australia 141-1 14.5 overs (Watson 72, Warner 63*) beat India 140-7 20 overs (Watson 3-34) by 9 wickets @ Colombo
Australia have annihilated India by 9 wickets in the Super 8’s at Colombo, after Shane Watson put in another wonderful all-round performance.
After seeing the way the pitch played in the earlier game, MS Dhoni decided he wanted to set a total for the Australians to chase. They lost Gambhir in the 3rd over, and their in form batsman Virat Kohli for just 15, as run scoring was as hard as it was in the Pakistan-South Africa game. They continued to lose wickets at a regular pace, as Yuvraj and Rohit couldn’t add anything substantial, and the highest score was in fact the makeshift opener Pathan, who made 31. Ashwin and Raina took their side to a competitive 140-7 off their 20 overs.
However, Australia made the pitch look like the Oval at its flattest, as Watson continued his fine form of the tournament, and Warner was at his bludgeoning best. They raced towards the Indian score with no real alarms, and the pair were seemingly competing with each other to see who could get their half century first. It was Watson to do so, coming off just 28 balls, including 6 huge sixes and just the one four, followed by Warner’s off 37 with 6 fours and 2 maximums. Watson did get out before the end, but Australia won extremely comfortable with 31 balls to spare.
An exceptional performance from Australia, and they just seem to be getting better and better as the tournament goes on. After beating England well the other day, India will struggle to qualify for the next round as their net run rate has been seriously hampered today.
Man of the Match: Shane Watson for his terrific 72 and 3-34. He is the leading run scorer and wicket getter in the tournament so far, and if Australia go far in the tournament, there won’t be many challenging him for the player of the tournament award.