Pakistan vs South Africa: Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed rescue Pakistan
Pakistan vs South Africa: Pakistan looked in deep trouble when they were reduced to 43/4 inside just seven overs. Mohammad Haris entertained briefly while with his 11-ball knock of 28 at the top of the order but Babar Azam (6), Mohammad Rizwan (4) and Shan Masood (2) got dismissed cheaply, leaving the lower middle-order with a lot of catching up to do.
Iftikhar Ahmed stepped up as he built a 52-run stand with Mohammad Nawaz first and then another 82-run stand for the sixth wicket with Shadab to take Pakistan to a total of 185/9, which looked absolutely improbable at one point. Iftikhar scored 51 from 35 deliveries but the real difference was made by Shadab as he walked in and smashed 52 from just 22 deliveries, including three fours and four sixes.
South Africa lose wickets early but Bavuma plays a gem
The Proteas didn’t get off to the start they would have hoped for as Shaheen Afridi got rid of Quinton de Kock in the very first over of the innings. They also lost Rilee Rossouw in the fourth over with just 16 runs on the board. Temba Bavuma brought an end to his lean patch with an entertaining 19-ball 36. He played some exquisite shots and took South Africa’s score to 65/2 at the end of seven overs.
Shadab Khan strikes again, this time with the ball
Bavuma was threatening to take the game away from Pakistan but Shadab stepped up with the ball this time as he dismissed the South African skipper caught behind off his very first delivery.
He didn’t stop at that as he cleaned up a well-set Aiden Markram for 20 in the same over. The Proteas were cruising towards the target with Bavuma and Markram at the crease, but Shadab came into the attack and changed the momentum completely.
Rain interrupted the game after the end of the ninth over with South Africa on 69/4 but the game resumed after a while with South Africa needing 73 to win from five overs (DLS method). Heinrich Klaasen and Tristan Stubbs brought South Africa into the game for a brief while as they added 25 runs in less than two overs but they fell behind once again when Afridi dismissed Klaasen in the 11th over. This was the left-arm pacer’s third wicket after dismissing de Kock and Rossouw in the Powerplay. Afridi finished with figures of 3-0-14-3 as South Africa couldn’t recover after that, finishing on 108/9 – 34 runs short of the revised target.
This win has now kept Pakistan’s hopes of a semi-final berth alive. They need to win their next match against Bangladesh and then hope that either India or South Africa lose their remaining matches to Zimbabwe and Netherlands, respectively.