Colombo: Sep 28, 2012
South African captain AB de Villiers' decision to bat first backfired badly on a slow Premadasa track that saw Pakistan's opening bowler Umar Gul being brought into the attack in the 18th over of the innings.
Skipper Mohammad Hafeez had impressive figures of two for 23 while Saeed Ajmal gave only 26 runs in his four overs while taking the wicket of Richard Levi. Left-armer Raza Hasan and legspinner Shahid Afridi too were economical.
Jean-Paul Duminy, with an useful 48 off 38 balls, was the only South African batsman who was able to play a responsible innings. He struck two sixes and two fours. His 44-run partnership for the fifth wicket with skipper De Villiers, who contributed 25, helped South Africa reach a total which had some respectability.
After Hashim Amla was dropped by Kamran Akmal off left-arm spinner Raza's bowling, the world's premier batsman couldn't cash in on the opportunity as he offered a catch to Shoaib Malik in covers after Arafat had bowled a slower delivery. Amla made only six.
The dangerous Levi was the next man out after scoring only eight off nine deliveries when he went for an ugly reverse sweep to get bowled round his legs.
The slowness of the pitch increased the woes for the Proteas who found it increasingly difficult to hit the big shots. Even young Raza was difficult to get away as he gave only 12 runs in his three overs, including a maiden.
Jacques Kallis was frustrated during his stay in the middle and finally offered a tame catch to Afridi at cover region.
Rookie Farhan Behardien scored 18 off 21 balls but was stumped by Kamran Akmal when he danced down the track to a Hafeez delivery.
Duminy and De Villiers found it difficult to get the big shots going and concentrated on taking singles. When Gul was finally brought in the 18th over, De Villiers swung his fuller delivery over deep mid-wicket for a six but lost his wicket in the very next ball, offering a simple skier off a juicy full-toss to fielder at deep point. (PTI)