Published on: Oct 28, 2023
South Africa survived a late batting collapse to register a thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan in match number 26 of World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday, October 27. Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan only managed 270 on the board as a number of their batters got starts, but failed to convert them into big scores.
In the chase, the Proteas were well placed at 206/4, but lost their way to crumble to 260/9. The last pair, however, hung on to take South Africa past the finish line. The win took the Proteas to the top of the points table, while Pakistan slipped to sixth position with their fourth consecutive loss.
Pakistan got off to a poor start with the bat as Abdullah Shafique (9) skied a pull off Marco Jansen, while Imam-ul-Haq (12) edged the left-arm pacer to gully. The experienced duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan added 48 for the third wicket; Pakistan needed much more from the two. Rizwan fell for 31 off 27 balls, top-edging a pull. Babar Azam scored 50 off 65, but gloved a sweep off Tabraiz Shamsi (4/60) to the keeper – South Africa taking a smart DRS review.
Before Babar, the South African left-arm spinner also dismissed the dangerous Iftikhar Ahmed (21). Saud Shakeel (52 off 52), Shadab Khan (43 off 36) and Mohammad Nawaz (24 off 24) chipped in to take Pakistan to 270. Apart from Shamsi, Jansen claimed three wickets, while Gerald Coetzee registered figures of 2/42.
Chasing 271, South Africa got off to a confident start. Quinton de Kock looked good again, but fell for 24 off 14, miscuing a pull off Shaheen Afridi to deep square leg. Temba Bavuma (28 off 27) also could not convert his start, chipping a pull off Mohammad Wasim Jr to square leg. The in-form Aiden Markram guided the chase with a sublime 91 off 93 balls, but Pakistan kept striking from the other end.
Rassie van der Dussen (21) fell lbw to Usama Mir as he missed his flick. Heinrich Klaasen (12) then top-edged a pull to fine third man. David Miller and Markram added 70 for the fourth wicket to put South Africa in command. However, Miller perished for 29, nicking Afridi to the keeper. Jansen (20) was caught at backward point off Haris Rauf .
Mir kept Pakistan in the hunt by dismissing Markram, who sliced a tossed up delivery to backward point. Coetzee (10) and Lungi Ngidi (4) fell cheaply to reduce South Africa to 260/9. Keshav Maharaj (7 not out off 21) held his nerve and smashed Nawaz for a four to lift the Proteas to a famous win.
–By A Cricket Correspondent