Pakistan knock Proteas out of World Cup

PESHAWAR: Pakistan knocked South Africa out of the ICC World Cup race by defeating them by 49 runs at Lord’s on Sunday.

Pakistan decided to bat first after winning the toss and scored 308 runs for the loss of seven wickets. Haris Sohail, who was included in the playing eleven in place of misfiring Shoaib Malik, scored 89 runs, Babar Azam scored 69 and Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman scored 44 runs each.

For South Africa, Ngidi took three wickets, Imran Tahir took two wickets, while Phehlukwayo and Markram took one wicket each.

South Africa’s batting wilted under pressure of big target and could score 259 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the allotted overs. Proteas captain Du Plessis scored 63 runs, De Kock scored 47 and Phehlukwayo scored 46.

For Pakistan, Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan took three wickets each, while Mohammad Amir took two wickets and Shaheen Shah Afridi took one wicket.

Although Pakistan dropped six catches, but still the bowlers were good enough to accomplish the task.

Haris Sohail was declared player of the match for his brilliant batting. He said after the match that it was very difficult to sit out of the games. “I knew I would get the opportunity and I was backing myself to do well. When I went in there, the plan was to build partnership with Babar. It was not easy but we did well,” he said.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said it was a complete team performance. “Credit to the openers. They played really well. Then Babar took over. And Haris Sohail put in a great performance. We changed the combination in this game. Couple of games earlier, we went with other combination. That’s the only thing. Sometimes change is good for the team,” he said.

Sarfraz said Pakistan need to work harder on fielding. “All three matches now are very crucial and we have to sort out the issue of fielding,” he said.

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said giving Pakistan 300-plus was 20 too many. “We’re losing a quick wicket almost all the time and then as we’re building partnerships we’re losing wickets. Struggling with a bit of confidence in our batting line-up,” he said.

Pakistan have climbed to seventh poison on points table with Sunday’s win, while South Africa are languishing at ninth place now.