Pakistan undone by Duckworth-Lewis

News

The dreaded Duckworth-Lewis method reared its ugly head at the Wanderers on Wednesday night, as Pakistan went down to South Africa by four runs in the first T20 International.

The dreaded Duckworth-Lewis method reared its ugly head at the Wanderers on Wednesday night, as Pakistan went down to South Africa by four runs in the first T20 International.

The start of the game was delayed by Johannesburg's ever-present summer thunder showers, and the rain would prove to have the final say as well, with the visitors only able to complete 9.2 of their overs in chase of the target of 154 that South Africa had set them.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first, and after finding themselves on the receiving end of a Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla onslaught in the opening exchanges, they managed to keep the hosts down to a chaseable total of 153/7.

Openers Amla and De Kock were ruthless in the first half hour, hitting boundaries almost at will as the run rate passed 10 an over, but Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez brought himself on and struck in his second over after applying some much needed pressure with his slow off-breaks.

Amla tried to drive a full ball through cover only to effectively york himself and see his off stump uprooted. He was dismissed for 31 off 20 balls just one ball shy of the eighth over, with the score at 72/1.

Fellow opener De Kock would depart for 43 in Hafeez' next over, mishitting a ball towards long-on that was superbly caught by Sohail Tanvir.

With both destroyers back in the hut, South Africa's innings seemed to stutter and lose some of its fluidity.

Henry Davids arrived at the crease and departed almost as quickly, bowled by Shadid Afridi after misjudging the pace with which the ball zipped off the pitch.

JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis set about consolidating the innings, but the scoring rate slowed, and Bilawal Bhatti would soon pick up his first T20 international wicket when Duminy provided midwicket with a comfortable catch.

Du Plessis was next to go in the following over, caught at mid-off for 22 as Junaid Khan got into the wickets column, with South Africa's run rate now dropping from 10 runs an over to under seven.

David Miller would add a quickfire 19 runs in the closing overs, supported chiefly by Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel, as South Africa finished on 153/7 – a decent total, but one that could have been much more imposing had the middle order done the business.

Buoyed by their fighting bowling performance, Pakistan set about chasing down the score in solid fashion, though Ahmed Shehzad was bowled by Lonwabe Tsotsobe for just nine in the third over and fellow opener Nasir Jamshed departed for 18, caught and bowled by JP Duminy, in over number eight.

Still, Pakistan were accumulating runs – even if not at breakneck speed – and at 60/2 after 9.1 overs they were definitely still in the game when the heavens opened once again, with Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Ukmal both looking competent enough at the crease.

Sadly, there would not be another ball bowled in the match, with a short break in the downpour giving only false hope before the rain came pouring down once again.

Pakistan were behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score by only four runs, with Jamshed's soft dismissal to Duminy proving costly, and South Africa were the winners of the match that in truth was very much still in the balance when it ended.

Latest