After conceding a crushing loss at the hands of India, Pakistan have made a fighting comeback in the ICC World Cup 2019, registering a clinical 49-run victory over South Africa at the iconic, Home of Cricket, Lord’s, on Sunday. Pakistan reached a daunting first innings total on the back of Haris Sohail and Babar Azam’s amazing half-century knocks and a solid opening foundation provided by the openers. In the second innings, the South African batters once again failed to put up an impressive show, going down in the huge run-chase by a healthy margin. With this win, Pakistan have kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals pretty much alive and kicking.
Sohail and Babar’s brilliant half-centuries take Pakistan to 308
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the two Pakistani openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq got their team off to a pretty explosive start by taking on the South African pacers from the word go. The duo added an impressive partnership of 81 runs for the opening wicket before Imran Tahir dismissed both of them in his very first spell. Mohammad Hafeez came at number four and never looked at ease during his short stay of 20 runs.
After these wickets, the duo of Babar Azam and Haris Sohail got together to resurrect the Pakistan innings with a fantastic partnership of 81 runs. 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.
However, at the other end, Sohail racked up an attacking knock of 89 runs off just 59 runs, to help Pakistan finish with a daunting total of 308 runs on the board. For South Africa, Lungi Ngidi picked up three scalps, while Tahir also bowled really well to claim two vital wickets.
Another unimpressive Proteas batting show
Chasing a huge target of 309 runs in a must-win clash, South Africa got off to a disappointing start as their in-form opener Hashim Amla got dismissed quite early in just the second over of the innings. The pair of Quinton de Kock and skipper Faf du Plessis then bailed their team out of the troublesome situation with a fine partnership of 87 runs. De Kock, who was looking in a solid touch, got out for a 60-ball 47 off a beautiful delivery bowled by leggie Shadab Khan.
At the other end, the South African skipper, du Plessis, brought up his second half-century of the tournament. But then, he along with Aiden Markram got out pretty soon, leaving South Africa reeling nowhere in the run-chase at 136 for 4.
The duo of Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller did stitch a vital half-century partnership, but until then the required run-rate had already increased significantly. Both the set batsmen got out in successive overs to vanquish the slim hopes.
After their dismissals, the lower-order batters also couldn’t survive for too long as South Africa managed 259 for 9 in their quota of 50 overs. For Pakistan, the duo of Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan bowled amazingly well to pick up three scalps each, while Mohammad Amir claimed two vital wickets as well.
Pakistan: 308/7 in 50 overs (Haris Sohail-89, Babar Azam-69; Lungi Ngidi 3/64, Imran Tahir 2/41)
South Africa: 259/9 in 50 overs (Faf du Plessis-63, Quinton de Kock-47; Wahab Riaz 3/46, Shadab Khan 3/50)
Result: Pakistan won the match by 49 runs.
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