Those who saw the ICC T20I cricket match between Pakistan and South Africa Friday today at Colombo, Sri Lanka would remember it for their lives, for it was such a hair raising match that came to be finished by a combination of a lone warrior from batting side and the bowlers.
The Umers Square: Umer Akmal (left) and Umer Gul (right) brought victory yo Pakistan
Having restricted the South Africans to mere 131 runs, Pakistan looked confidant to chase the target comfortable and with much ease. And they started off pretty well, till Imran Nazir was caught fro 14. And from then on, there was no ending. The uncertain batsmen crumbled one after the other and at the start of 12 th over, most of the Pakistan batting order had crumbled for 63/5. And then came Afridi, who everyone thought would play for victory. But he lived to his traditional uncertainity and was caugth just in front of the ropes for a big ZERO.
It was in the 14th over that Umar Gul joined Umar Akmal when Pakistan was down 76/7 and everyone in the arena was getting up to leave, and perhaps so many viewers watching TV too. But then both Umer combination clicked. Umer Gul hit three mighty sixes to bring life and sensation to a losing match for Pakistan. Umer Gul's valuable 32 runs by the end ogf 19th over had brought total to 125/8.
The last over saw another six from Akmal and an unbelievable four from Saeed Ajmal that brought victory to Pakistan. What a sensational ending and what a superb performance by Umar Akmal and Gul that made the difference. Pakistan won by two wickets with just two balls remaining.
Naturally, Gul deserved to be the man of the match who took out Pakistan from a crisis situation by his magnifiencet performance. "I must thank to my coach. I told Akmal that we should stay at the crease, the flick is my favourite shot," said Gul afterwards.
But for the remaining matches, Pakistan batsmen need to play responsibly lest their uncertain performance harm Pakistan.