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South Africa cruise to easy victory


Pakistan collapsed to the spin of Roelof van der Merwe and Johan Botha as South Africa eased to a 59-run victory.

The 2007 finalists appeared on course to challenge South Africa's 186 for seven, on 62 for two in the ninth over - only to lose their next five wickets for 19 runs in their World Twenty20 warm-up match at Trent Bridge.

Once Graeme Smith - who had earlier top-scored with 70 off 53 balls - took the pace off the ball, his spinners put paid to Pakistan.

Opener Ahmed Shahzad was undone lbw by Van der Merwe, and the same bowler collected a sharp return catch to see off captain Younis Khan.

The remainder of the Pakistan batsmen never threatened a significant contribution.

The match was therefore over as a contest long before Saeed Ajmal was last out, to a nonchalant running catch by Smith off Wayne Parnell, in a paltry total of 127 all out - with two balls unused.Shahid Afridi's bowling and fielding had earlier kept Pakistan in with a chance, as South Africa failed to make the most of a great start with the bat.

They looked set for a massive total, with captain Smith and Jacques Kallis racking up an 80-run opening stand in just 9.2 overs.

But after off-spinner Ajmal had dismissed Kallis, South Africa gave way to the guile of Afridi's leg-spin.

Afridi had Smith stumped as he advanced down the pitch. He then had Herschelle Gibbs playing on and ran out the dangerous AB de Villiers with a direct hit.

South Africa lost six wickets for 51 runs in five overs, and it took some telling late hitting from all-rounder Albie Morkel to ensure a competitive total after all.

That it eventually proved so far beyond Pakistan was more a product of batsmen's frailties than outstanding expertise from South Africa's bowlers.

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