Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

"Boom Boom" blasts Pakistan into final

Shahid Afridi will be given a second chance to crown his personal Twenty20 supremacy with a world title after guiding Pakistan to a shock semi-final win over South Africa.

NOTTINGHAM // Shahid Afridi will be given a second chance to crown his personal Twenty20 supremacy with a world title after guiding Pakistan to a shock semi-final win over the overwhelming tournament favourites South Africa. The big-hitting all-rounder cracked a high-octane half-century, then followed up with two cheap wickets to pave the way for a seven-run win at Trent Bridge. Afridi was the player of the tournament at the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 two years ago, but was denied the perfect ending after Pakistan were beaten by their neighbours India in the final. He will get the chance to right that wrong this weekend. Pakistan are the first side through to Sunday's final at Lord's, where they will play the winners of Sri Lanka versus the West Indies, who play today. Afridi looked like a man on a mission even before the start. "This is the only thing we can give our nation," he said on interview just before taking the field. "We all know how important it is to win this." After winning the toss and opting to bat, Pakistan made staccato progress to 149 for four from their 20 overs. Afridi injected life into the innings when he plundered four successive boundaries from the otherwise miserly off-spinner, Johan Botha's second over. All four were against the spin onto the off-side of the wicket, including three booming drives, the like of which only Afridi can hit. Yet still he was not happy. He immediately changed his bat, and it seemed like sixes were the only thing that could satisfy him. He fell soon after looking for that maximum from the slow off-spin of JP Duminy, after reaching 51 from 34 balls. Pakistan's progress with the bat was checked from then on. Wayne Parnell, who was little known before the tournament but is now a genuine star, gave another brilliant exhibition of death bowling. His final figures of one for 26 in four overs barely do justice to his excellence. Between him, Dale Steyn and Roelof van der Merwe, the left-arm spin bowler, the Proteas conceded a mere 29 from the last five overs. The boundary ropes were not crossed once in that time as Younus Khan and Co could manage little more than to pat the yorkers around the field for singles. When the South Africans started their reply, Graeme Smith was afforded a life when he top edged an attempted slog off Abdul Razzaq when he was on just eight. Umar Gul misjudged the skier and, as he toppled backwards, he suffered a blow to the head. Smith made little of his reprieve, departing soon after to a carbon copy, skewing a slog straight up. The bowler, Mohammed Amir, made no mistake. The same applied when Afridi accounted for AB de Villiers. The young South African batsman will be the "best batsman on the planet" within two years, according to his coach Mickey Arthur, but he looked all at sea against Pakistan's brilliant spinners. Afridi induced an outside edge from him, which Kamran Akmal shelled at the wicket. However, the very next ball he made the cardinal error of trying to cut Afridi, and chopped onto his stumps as the ball drifted in. Gul may not have been as destructive in the wickets column as on previous outings, but he still played a crucial role in closing out the victory. He sent down a series of swinging yorkers at 90mph, which the South African batsmen could not get away. They were left with 23 to get from the final over and Younus, the Pakistan captain, handed the ball to the 17 year old Amir. Duminy swung the second ball into the crowd for a big six, but when Albie Morkel was run out by a direct hit off the next delivery, the game was up for South Africa.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National