The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team have coped up with a fair share of criticism for their disappointing show in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 and their fans have been quite vocal after that crushing defeat suffered against at the hands of India. However, keeping the past things aside, Pakistan have come back strongly in the first half of their sixth match of the tournament against South Africa at the iconic, Home of Cricket, Lord’s cricket ground, London. The batters showed great amount of composure and temperament to post an imposing first innings total. The South African bowlers, on the other hand, had a pretty tough outing as they failed to bowl the right lengths.
Fakhar and Imam provide attacking start
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first as he reckoned that it looks a good wicket and thus, they want to put runs on the board and then try to defend them. The two Pakistani openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq started things off on a pretty aggressive note, taking on the South African fast bowlers from the word go. The opening duo brought up the half-century partnership in just the eighth over.
After the pacers got the beating, South African skipper Faf du Plessis was forced to bring leg-spinner Imran Tahir early and he provided the breakthrough immediately in his very first over, dismissing Fakhar for a 50-ball 44. Tahir first ended the vital opening stand of 81 runs and then also took a stunning catch of his own bowling to send the other opener, Imam, back to the pavilion in the 21st over. After these two quick wickets, the pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez got together to do the resurrection work.
Babar notches up his 2nd World Cup ton
They added a brief partnership of 45 runs before Hafeez, who never looked comfortable at the crease from the start, got dismissed by Aiden Markram in the 30th over. Even after losing his partner, Babar continued to play his natural game, notching up his second half-century of the World Cup. He added a significant aggressive stand of 81 runs along with Haris Sohail for the fourth wicket. Babar played a fine innings of 69 runs off 80 balls that included of seven boundaries before getting dismissed by Andile Phehlukwayo in the 42nd over.
Towards the end, Sohail played a brilliant knock of 89 runs off just 59 balls to push Pakistan’s total to 308/7 in 50 overs. He compiled a vital partnership of 71 runs along with Imad Wasim at a steady pace for the fifth wicket. For South Africa, Tahir was the pick of the bowlers, picking two crucial wickets along with an impressive economy. Lungi Ngidi did claim three scalps but also ended up conceding too many runs as well.
Pakistan 308/7 in 50 overs (Haris Sohail- 89, Babar Azam-69, Fakhar Zaman-44; Lungi Ngidi 3/64, Imran Tahir 2/41) vs South Africa.