As someone rightly pointed out on Twitter, be it 3-0 or 1-0, a whitewash is a whitewash. And that’s exactly what Pakistan did to South Africa in a thumping win at Centurion during the decider of the T20 series. Not only did we see a collective effort from the team, but also how remarkably dangerous Pakistan are on their day. Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad gave Pakistan a brisk start, soon followed by Hafeez with a classy knock of 86, after which nothing substantial happened. The shocker during our innings though was Afridi returning to the pavilion not-out at 19. I’m sure if there were more overs, he would have gone on to make a 50.
A win without Ajmal having to carry the team on his shoulders, this was. Wickets were divided between Junaid, Irfan, Gul and Hafeez, and the fielding was commendable, especially Ahmed Shehzad, with not one, but two cheetah-like catches. But of course, how is it possible that we talk about commendable fielding and not mention Kamran Akmal? The drop off Irfan’s (I think) bowling and the other fumbling catch were probably the only two moments in the match when we actually feared losing. You know how the drill is – Akmal drops the catch, Pakistan drops the match.
Some people are suggesting we should retain Ahmed Shehzad for the ODIs but in my opinion, he is only built for T20. His attitude toward the game and the eagerness to score suggest him to be a very impatient player. He’s like an amplified version of Afridi, although Afridi still lasted a few years in Test cricket. On the other hand, we never know, he could be the run-machine that Pakistan has been lacking for a few years now. I would also like to comment on how well has dropping Hafeez down the order worked for Pakistan. Maybe he should try the same in the ODIs too, with Kamran Akmal and Nasir Jamshed opening.
This was a completely one-sided match. Was it not for vengeance, I would have been a tad bit disappointed at the lack of competition, but all is fair in love and cricket.
My man of the match is …not Dhoni – it is rightfully Hafeez with a score of 86 and 3 wickets. Umar Gul comes close second followed by Ahmed Shehzad for his brilliant 46 and two heroic catches.
P.S. I wish there was a way I could type out my excitement after this win but will “BOO YA CHOKERS WE WON!” do?