Pakistan fired late in their innings to set the Proteas a target of 309 in the World Cup match at Lord’s.
South Africa have to beat Pakistan today to remain in the playoff race. A loss will destroy their slim mathematical hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds.
After losing the toss, Faf du Plessis said that he was happy to bowl first and chase down a target set by Pakistan. At the halfway point of the game, however, Du Plessis may feel differently.
South Africa battled to make the initial breakthrough. Pakistan were 81-0 as the end of the 15th over approached, and seemingly on course for a total in excess of 300.
Then Imran Tahir struck to give the Proteas a foothold in the contest. Fakhar Zaman attempted to play an outrageous stroke and only succeeded in edging the ball to Hashim Amla at first slip.
Tahir accounted for Imam-ul-Haq six overs later. The opening batsman drove the ball straight back and the bowler hung on to a low catch.
That dismissal took Tahir past Allan Donald’s World Cup record of 38 wickets for South Africa. Tahir took 20 matches to surpass Donald, who featured in 25.
South Africa applied the squeeze. Mohammed Hafeez was dropped by Quinton de Kock and also survived a close lbw decision. It wasn’t too long, however, before the Proteas – thanks to another spinner in Aiden Markram – eliminated one of the danger men.
Babar Azam and Haris Sohail then proceeded to take the fight to the Proteas bowlers. The pair put on 81 for the fourth wicket before Babar holed out for 69.
Haris reached his half-century off 38 balls. With seven overs remaining and six wickets in hand, a big total was still on the cards.
Pakistan surpassed 300 in the 49th over. Haris continued to blast the South African bowlers around the ground, and finished on 89 off 59 balls.
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