Umar Akmal leads amazing Pakistan fightback
Umar Akmal guided Pakistan to a thrilling two wicket victory over South Africa to seal a remarkable win after the Pakistanis had slumped to just 76-7 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Faced with a victory target of just 134 Pakistan looked in trouble after Yasir Arafat (3) had been dismissed by Dale Steyn (3-22) in the 15th over with the 2009 champions still needing another 58 runs from just 33 balls.
Amazingly Umar Akmal (43) and Umar Gul (32) forged a match winning 8th wicket stand of 49 to stun the South Africans who had look in control with just five overs remaining.
Despite the loss of Gul at the end of the penultimate over, Akmal led the Pakistanis home by smashing Morne Morkel for a six before Saeed Ajmal edged a boundary two balls later to spark wild celebrations.
The pairs fight back ended another thrilling Super Eights match which Pakistan had looked favourites to win at the half way point after restricting the South Africans to a total of just 133-6.
Mohammad Hafeez (15) and Imran Nazir (14) got Pakistanís run chase off to a positive start thanks to a 24 run opening partnership which lasted 18 balls but once Imran Nazir was dismissed by Dale Steyn () things started to unravel quickly.
Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed (0) soon found themselves back in the dugout after Robin Peterson () picked up two wickets in the space of five deliveries to leave Pakistan 31-3 after four overs.
Having won the toss AB de Villiers elected to bat first but the decision proved to be costly as the South Africans slumped to just 28-3 after just 6.1 overs as Pakistan took control of the match early on.
The early loss of Hashim Amla (6) and Richard Levi (8) brought JP Duminy to the crease in the 6th over and he provided some resistantís with a vital innings of 48 which was finally brought to and end by Yasir Arafat (2-25) in the penultimate over.
de Villiers enjoyed a brief cameo of 25 but with wickets falling at regular intervals the South Africans were unable to build on Duminyís innings to leave Pakistan facing a run chase of 134.