Pakistan won by 49 runs at Lord’s on Sunday to knock South Africa out of the World Cup playoff race. JON CARDINELLI reports.
It’s official: the Proteas cannot qualify for the playoffs and their quest for the World Cup trophy is over.
The Proteas’ slim mathematical chance of advancing to the knockout phase has been well and truly dashed by the loss to Pakistan. The defeat at Lord’s marked South Africa’s fifth in seven games. They will have nothing but pride to play for in the remaining fixtures against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Pakistan were comfortably the better of the two sides competing at Lord’s. They stood up to the challenge in the middle overs and then cracked on to post 308, with Babar Azam scoring 69 and Haris Sohail an explosive 89.
Pakistan maintained their intensity with the ball and in the field to squeeze South Africa until they cracked. The Proteas were never in a position of dominance.
Not for the first time in the tournament, the Proteas top order failed. Hashim Amla perished in the second over, while Quinton de Kock holed out at a crucial point in the game.
Aiden Markram was bowled by Shadab Khan to leave the Proteas in deep trouble at 103-3. The pressure continued to build on Faf du Plessis, and the skipper eventually responded by swinging at a Mohammed Amir delivery.
The ball caught the top edge, and opposite number Sarfaraz Ahmed pouched the catch. As Du Plessis departed, so too did South Africa’s hopes of regaining the initiative.
Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller then attempted to hit the Proteas out of trouble. Pakistan put down several chances in the field, but the asking rate continued to climb.
Van der Dussen fell and South Africa went into the last 10 overs needing 120 for victory. Miller was next to perish, leaving the Proteas all-rounders and tail-enders with too much to do at the death.
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