London, Pakistan beat South Africa by 49 runs at Lord’s in their 2019 ICC World Cup group stage match on Sunday, ensuring they remain in contention for the playoffs while making the Proteas the second team after Afghanistan to be knocked out of the tournament.
Chasing a target of 309, South Africa were restricted to a total of 259/9.
Pakistan were powered to 308/7 thanks to Haris Sohail’s 89 off 59 balls and Babar Azam’s 69 off 80. Imran Tahir’s performance in the middle overs and Lungi Ngidi’s late wickets ensured that Pakistan don’t get too far beyond the 300-run mark but even that turned out to be too much for the Proteas to chase.
Mohammad Amir dismissed Hashim Amla in the second over but captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock gave the South African chase a semblance of stability for the next 18 overs. The pair put up a partnership of 87 and were helped quite a bit by dropped catches. Shadab Khan then provided the breakthrough when De Kock holed out near the boundary off his bowling in the 20th over.
Shadab then got Aiden Markram, ensuring that the 24-year-old’s poor show in this World Cup continues. Amir then got the big wicket of Du Plessis. The South African skipper looked to hit the ball over deep midwicket and ended up getting a top edge to it. The ball went quite some distance in the air and Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed did well to hold on.
South Africa were given hope by David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen. With Pakistan continuing to drop catches, the pair went on to put up 53 runs for the fifth wicket. Shadab was once again the man to provide the breakthrough. Van Der Dussen tried a slog towards the leg side and the ball ballooned up in the air. Mohammad Hafeez kept his eyes on it all the way and completed the catch.
It was all downhill for South Africa after that as Wahab Riaz started the swinging the old ball around corners and went about cleaning up the tail. Miller fell to a slower delivery from Shaheen Afridi and Wahab then got Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi in consecutive overs.
Earlier, Pakistan were dominant for much of their innings, except for the middle overs where Tahir dismissed openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-Ul-Haq, the latter because of a brilliant catch off his own bowling. This took his tally in World Cups to 39 and he thus overtook Allan Donald to become South Africa’s highest wicket taker in the history of the tournament.
Haris Sohail was the star performer for Pakistan with the bat as his innings ensured that Pakistan cross the 300-run mark. He also won the man of the match for his performance.
This victory means that South Africa have been officially knocked out of the 2019 World Cup, becoming the second team after Afghanistan to suffer this fate. They have now played seven matches and have just three points of them. Pakistan are placed seventh in the standings with five points and a net run rate of -1.265.
Brief scores: Pakistan 308/7, Haris Sohail 89 (59), Babar Azam 69 (80); Lungi Ngidi 3/64
South Africa 259/5, Faf du Plessis 63 (79), Quinton de Kock 47 (60); Wahab Riaz 3/46