Pakistan Keep Hopes Alive; Win by 33 Runs

Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup is really going down to the wire. Pakistan had a do-or-die match against South Africa today at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Rain interrupted play once again but eventually, Pakistan emerged victorious by 33 runs.

Highlights

  • Pakistan had to play for their lives today
  • From then on it was an Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan show
  • The pressure of keeping up with the required run rate was a bit too much for South African batsmen

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Pakistan Vs South Africa
Photo by Matt King-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Group 2 of the ICC T20 World Cup is going down to the wire. Pakistan had a do-or-die match against South Africa today at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Rain interrupted play once again but eventually, Pakistan emerged victorious by 33 runs.

South Africa was unbeaten so far in the ICC T20 World Cup. They have been the tournament favorites and the way they were proceeding, it was assumed that they would be the first team from group 2 to become Semi-finalists.

Pakistan Had to Play for Their Lives Today

If they would have lost the match today, they were definitely out of the tournament. When you are put in a situation like this, you perform at your very best.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Once again their main men Rizwan and Azam failed to score big and departed for single digits. Mohammad Haris was the new man in and he proved his place in the team. He might have not got a big score but his 28 off 11 balls changed Pakistan’s first innings.

From Then on It Was an Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan Show

Shadab Khan gave the fans a glimpse of Shahid Afridi. Shadab’s free will to attack the ball with just raw power left the South African bowlers clueless. Iftikhar scored his second fifty of the tournament. Both Iftikhar and Shadab scored brilliant knocks of 51 and 52 runs, respectively.

Pakistan had to chase down a target of 186 in the second innings. With the dark clouds looming overhead, there was always the fear of a heavy downpour. The Proteas knew if there is rain they have to keep up with the DLS score. Quinton De Kock has not stepped up from the game against Bangladesh. Temba Bavuma did get a good start to the innings. He scored a 36 off 19 balls but could not convert his start.

The pressure of keeping up with the required run rate was a bit too much for South African batsmen. They did not think their way through their innings and crumbled throughout. The rain did stop play and that is when it got even more horrible for South Africa.

Post the rain delay, the game was reduced to 14 overs and the target was shortened to 142. Stubbs and Klaasen were the only two designated batsmen left to finish off the game, but they tried to go big in every over to reduce the required run rate and could not keep their wicket.

To sum it up, Pakistan played like they were going to war against South Africa. They were lethal in every aspect of the game. When you get useful contributions from almost every player, you are bound to win a game of cricket. South Africa will be worried about the Semi-final spot while Pakistan keeps the Semi-final hope alive.

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Leander is an avid writer with his interests majorly in sports. He is someone who can break into silent rooms and turn it into a stand-up show.

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