South Africa add insult to injury for Pakistan with Twenty20 series sweep

Proteas wrap up successful ODI and Twenty20 series

Wayne Parnell, left, celebrates with his South Africa teammates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez on Friday. Hassan Ammar / AP Photo
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DUBAI // Pakistan and their harassed pair of captains have not had much to smile about during the past month in the UAE.

After consecutive ducks in the Twenty20 series, which took up an aggregate of three deliveries, Mohammed Hafeez had to resort to a rueful grin on Friday.

This was not a Dale Steyn-esque, hold-it-all-in-because-it-is-too-funny-for-words cackle. More the sort of exasperated effort which says: If I do not laugh, I will cry.

Pakistan have had enough trouble fending for themselves against South Africa on this tour. They do not need the umpires ganging up on them, too.

But that seemed to be what was happening when Hafeez was dismissed on the first ball by a combination of Wayne Parnell, the bowler, and Zameer Haider, the umpire.

Replays showed the ball had been neither on line with the stumps, nor low enough to endanger them, but Hafeez was given out lbw, anyway.

It has been that sort of trip for Pakistan. Most things that could go wrong, have.

That is not to say South Africa needed any added assistance to beat them. Even though they were behind the game for much of Pakistan’s chase last night, the Proteas always seemed likely victors.

Three wickets in three balls served to confirm that, as Pakistan capitulated to a six-run loss, and thus surrendered the 20-over series 2-0.

To add injury to their insulting recent form, Pakistan lost their leading seam bowler, Mohammed Irfan, to injury just 10 balls into his spell.

The team’s management had been hoping to manage the 7ft 1in left-armer’s workload, given his growing importance in all three formats.

Those best-laid plans came to nought, though, when he fell in a heap during his follow-through and did not return, meaning Pakistan had to find 2.2 overs from an extra bowler.

That was rather a problem, given that Abdul Razzaq had already been hit out of commission by Quinton de Kock.

South Africa’s perky wicket-keeper has cemented his claim for greater involvement in Proteas cricket via a highly successful limited-overs tour here.

He took Razzaq’s first over with the new ball for 14 – and the seasoned all-rounder was not risked again at all during the innings.

He might as well not have bothered with the bat, either. Razzaq’s misery was compounded off his first delivery, when he left a ball from which he obviously had failed to read as Imran Tahir’s googly. It ended up crashing into his middle and off stumps.

He was the sandwich in a team hat-trick claimed by South Africa. Tahir dislodged Shoaib Malik, then Razzaq, before Sohaib Maqsood – who had appeared to be winning the game for Pakistan – was brilliantly caught at the wicket by De Kock.

Although Shahid Afridi briefly flirted with a successful chase, and Irfan bravely hobbled to join the fight, the rot had set in already as the Pakistan finished six runs short.