LONDON, June 23: Pakistan kept alive their slender hopes of making the semifinals while knocking South Africa out of the ICC World Cup with a 49 run win here on Sunday.
Batting first, the 1992 champions posted 308 for seven with Haris Sohail’s 59-ball 89 being the highlight of their innings. In reply, South Africa were stopped at 259 for nine in 50 overs.
With just three points from seven outings, South Africa are out of the tournament while Pakistan could still sneak into the semifinals, provided they win their remaining matches and other results go in their favour.
Chasing 309, South Africa began on a poor note, losing Hashim Amla (2) in the second over.
There was swing straightaway for Mohammad Amir and even though the Pakistan pace spearhead’s big appeal for an LBW could not impress the umpire, Hawkeye showed the ball would have hit the stumps, giving him a wicket off his first ball.
Skipper Faf du Plessis (63 off 79 balls) joined Quinton de Kock (47 off 60) early and the duo shared 87 runs for the second wicket to keep South Africa in the game. De Kock fell three short of a fifty, and the Proteas lost two more wickets after that, giving Pakistan the upper hand.
A 53-run partnership ensued between Rassie van der Dussen (36) and David Miller (31), but the former got out while trying to hit Shadab Khan against the turn. Miller, who failed to make use of two reprieves, was bowled by Shaheen Afridi to dash whatever little hopes South Africa had at that point.
Later, Andile Phehlukwayo blazed away to 46 off 32 balls with six boundaries. Shadab (3/50 in 10 overs) and Wahab Riaz (3/46 in 10) were Pakistan’s most successful bowlers, while Amir picked up two wickets.
Earlier, Sohail marked his return with a scintillating knock and powered Pakistan to a competitive total.
Brief scores: Pakistan 308/7 in 50 overs (Haris Sohail 89, Babar Azam 69; Lungi Ngidi 3/64). South Africa 259/9 in 50 overs (F du Plessis 63, Q de Kock 47, HE van der Dussen 36; Wahab Riaz 3/46, Shadab Khan 3/50, Mohammad Amir 2/49). – PTI