Proteas duo send Pakistan spinning to defeat
by AFP

Ground:Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Scorecard:Pakistan v South Africa
Player:GC Smith, Shahid Afridi
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 2nd June 2009


South Africa spinners Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha took two wickets apiece as the Proteas beat 2007 finalists Pakistan by 59 runs in their ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match here on Monday.


Pakistan, chasing a stiff target of 187 for victory, were on track at 69 for two in the ninth over before they lost their next five wickets for just 19 runs at Trent Bridge.


As soon as South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who'd top scored with 70 in a total of 186 for seven, brought on his slow bowlers the match veered back in the Proteas' favour.


Ahmed Shahzad was lbw to van der Merwe and the same bowler also held a sharp return catch to get rid of Pakistan captain Younus Khan. The innings then subsided long before Saeed Ajmal was last man out.


Smith said the fact so many of his side had played on home soil in the Indian Premier League (IPL), moved to South Africa from India this year because of security concerns, had worked in his favour.


"I think it's a big bonus a lot of our guys have been playing in the IPL," said Smith.


"It was nice to try a few things and we'll probably look at giving a few of the other guys an opportunity in our other warm-up match against Sri Lanka."


Meanwhile Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam, who played for English county Surrey in the 1970s, said only arriving in England two days before this match had not done the team any favours.


"It's very difficult to come from a hot climate and get used to different conditions," he explained. "Fielding was one department I was concerned about but I am sure we will get better the longer we are here."


New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, in the wickets as the Black Caps beat defending champions India at Lord's, had forecast on Sunday that spin would have an important role to play at this tournament.


And even in a match where the slow left-armer was not playing, his prediction proved accurate.


Ajmal and Afridi took four wickets between them to prevent South Africa posting a colossal total after Smith and Jacques Kallis put on 80 inside 10 overs for the first wicket.


Left-handed opener Smith, who won the toss, faced 53 balls with one six and nine fours while Herschelle Gibbs weighed in with 42.


But Afridi saw off both Smith and Gibbs while Kallis was undone by Ajmal and it needed a 14-ball 32 from Albie Morkel to bolster South Africa's total.

(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)


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