London:New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has raised Pakistani eyebrows by saying he was surprised how seamer Umar Gul managed to reverse swing the ball in Twenty20 cricket.
Gul became the first bowler in T20 internationals to grab five wickets as Pakistan thrashed the Black Caps by six wickets at the Oval on Saturday in a match they had to win to stay afloat in the tournament.
Gul returned amazing figures of five wickets for six runs in three overs to skittle New Zealand out for a paltry 99, a target Pakistan achieved easily in the 13.1 overs.
"We were amazed how Gul got to reverse the ball after just 12 overs," said Vettori.
"I have never seen anyone reverse swing the ball like that in Twenty20 cricket. I don't know how he does it. I saw it for the first time."
Pakistan captain Younus Khan laughed away Vettori's comments, saying Gul was one of the best bowlers in the shortest version of the game because he knew how to bowl in any situation.
"We know what Umar is capable of," said Younus. "He was the highest wicket-taker in the first World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007.
"He is very effective in the middle overs. He uses the conditions well and knows how to contain the run-rate.
"I have seen him reverse swing the ball in the past, even in Twenty20 cricket, so what happened today does not surprise me at all."
Bowlers are not known to gain reverse swing with a newer ball, but can make it move the other way in the air and off the pitch with an older one.
"The ball does not stay new all the time in Twenty20 cricket," said Younus.
"Towards the end of an innings, there are always a few scratches on the ball which are caused by hits from the bats, or when the ball bangs against the boards on the boundary line.
"Umar's bowling action is suitable for reverse swing."
Pakistani fast bowling legends, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, stunned the cricketing world in the 1980s by making the old ball swing the other way, leading to the word "reverse swing" being coined.
Not surprisingly, Gul dedicated his sensational spell to Wasim and Waqar.
"I have really developed my yorker by watching videos of Waqar and Wasim. They have really helped me," said Gul.
"In Twenty20, you have to be able to bowl the yorker, bouncer and the slower ball. Now I want to be the highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
"My captain just told me to go and get wickets and that's what I did."