ICC World Cup 2019: Match 30, Pakistan vs South Africa, Review – Pakistan alive and running in the tournament; Proteas dream crashed
For the first time since the 2003 World Cup, South Africa failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament.
Updated - Feb 1, 2020 9:08 pm
The ray of hope continues to show Pakistan a way out of the dark tunnel, but for South Africa, the tournament ends officially with this defeat. With just three points in seven matches, Faf du Plessis and his men will be fighting for a lost cause in their remaining games against Sri Lanka and Australia, but Pakistan are still hopeful of replicating the 1992 heroics.
After a fairly long time, the management took a wise decision to bat first after winning the toss and the Asian side had the upper hand from that very moment. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq gave the side a promising start, something they haven’t done this tournament often. The duo nullified the wrath of their new ball bowlers with some attacking shots and added 81 runs for the first wicket.
Death came calling for these two in the form of Imran Tahir, who sensationally picked up both their wickets in a span of a few overs and got South Africa back on track. It was time for Babar Azam to show his class, which he did to a very good extent. He built a good partnership with Mohammad Hafeez to get going, but their innings gained real momentum when Haris Sohail came in to bat.
The all-rounder was roped in to replace Shoaib Malik and he did exactly the job the senior man couldn’t this tournament. He was in an over-drive mode from the moment he came in and played some delightful shots against the fast bowlers. Azam completed his fifty and stitched an 81-run partnership with Sohail before getting dismissed for 69.
Sohail continued his onslaught alongside Imad Wasim and smashed his way to a 59-ball 89. He was dismissed in the final over off Ngidi, but his knock was good enough to get Pakistan past the elusive 300-run mark. They finished with 308 runs for the loss of 8 wickets and Ngidi returned with the best figures from the bowling unit, picking up three wickets and giving away 64 runs in his 9 overs.
Another disappointing batting display from the South Africans
Mohammad Amir was always going to be the biggest threat for the Saffers and he eventually was the man who provided the first breakthrough, dismissing Hashim Amla for just 2 runs. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis’ partnership was the only period when they looked in command during the run chase, but the scoring rate wasn’t in alignment with the required rate.
Their partnership accounted for 87 runs, but there was going to be a moment when they would up the ante and things could get either way. It went the Pakistani way as De Kock was dismissed by Shadab Khan and after a few overs, Aiden Markram once again failed to contribute to the side before his stumps were rattled by Shadab.
Sarfaraz Ahmed‘s masterstroke to bring in Amir in the middle overs worked wonders for the 1992 champions as he dismissed the dangerous Faf du Plessis for a 79-ball 63. The middle order and the lower order had too much to do after that and never looked like delivering a match-winning performance.
Rassie van der Dussen once again got a good start and once again was dismissed before delivering a match-winning performance. Andile Phehlukwayo tried to bat his way along after that, but they just had too much to do and fell short of the target by 49 runs. For the first time since the 2003 World Cup, South Africa failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament.
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; Shadab Khan 3/50, Wahab Riaz 3/46)
Result: Pakistan won by 49 runs
Man of the match: Haris Sohail