Pakistan on Sunday redeemed themselves after suffering a humiliating defeat to India last week in the ongoing World Cup encounter. They defeated South Africa to knock the Proteas out of the World Cup contention with a 49-run win at the Lord’s cricket ground in London.
Batting first, Pakistan had posted a total of 308 for 7 in their quota of 50 overs. Haris Sohail’s aggressive 89 off 59 in the dying overs of the innings played a key role in Pakistan crossing 300-run mark. Pakistani innings were also helped by stability provided by their openers with Imam ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman being unlucky to not complete their fifties by just six runs. Both got out for 44 each.
Though Babar Azam played a crucial knock of 69 in 113 balls, it was Sohail who took just 95 balls to score his 89 runs including nine boundaries and three spectacular sixes. He was adjudged Man Of The Match for his spectacular batting display.
For South Africa, Imran Tahir was the star in their bowling attack as he finished with a spell of 2-40 in 10 overs. His two wickets included a smart return catch off Imam ul-Haq.
When South Africans came to bat, they faced an early blow as star batsman Hashim Amla, who departed by scoring just two runs after he was adjudged LBW off Mohamamd Amir’s bowling. Quinton de Kock and skipper Faf Du Plessis did their best to recover from the early shock as they added 87 runs for the second wicket, but one the former was out off Shadab Khan’s spin bowling, South Africans pretty much gave up on any hopes of winning the match as the required run-rate continued to climb. In the end, South Africa scored 259 for 9 in 50 overs, losing to Pakistan by 49 runs. Andile Phehlukwayo remained not out at 46.
While Pakistan still have some chances of qualifying for the semi-final, South Africa have officially been eliminated from the competition even though they have two more matches remaining. The top four teams in the points table will play each other in semi-finals. The fact that no South African players have been able to score more than 70 runs in this World Cup sums up the poor state of the Proteas batting.
Both Wahab Riaz and Shaheen Afridi picked up three wickets each, while Mohammed Amir finished his spell for 2 for 49 in 10 overs.