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Sohail, Amir keep Pakistan’s World Cup alive
A combined batting performance studded by Haris Sohail’s 59-ball 89 was backed up by the bowlers as Pakistan kept their hopes of progression at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 alive with a 49-run win against South Africa.
Chasing Pakistan’s 308/7, South Africa came undone against Mohammad Amir (2/49) and Shadab Khan (3/50) to remain with just one win from seven games so far.
The World Cup caravan reached the Home of Cricket on Sunday, 23 June, and Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman treated the packed crowd at Lord’s to a series of glorious drives. The team fifty came in quick time, taking just 44 balls and including 38 runs in boundaries. Lungi Ngidi came in for particular punishment, Fakhar dispatching him for a big six over midwicket.
Chris Morris created a chance with Fakhar on 28, Imran Tahir diving forward to take a catch. With replays inconclusive, the umpires gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt. Tahir took matters into his own hands, however. In his first over, Fakhar’s attempted scoop ballooned up to the waiting Hashim Amla fielding at first slip; then, the veteran leapt to his right to complete a good low catch of Imam as both set batsmen were sent packing.
Babar Azam looked good in reaching his half-century, but it was Sohail who took apart the bowling. Playing only his second World Cup 2019 match and coming in at 143/3, he opened up with a four through covers off Kagiso Rabada, before slamming the same bowler over point for six. An 81-run stand with Azam was followed by a 71-run fifth-wicket partnership with Imad Wasim.
Before Wasim chipped in with 23 off 15, Sohail had dominated, bringing up a half-century in just 38 balls.
Hashim Amla, who has been in indifferent form, was dismissed on Amir’s first ball, after a successful review for Pakistan showed the delivery hitting leg. Quinton de Kock and captain Faf du Plessis gave South Africa their best period of the game during a partnership of 87.
But with Shadab bowling full and in line, and Amir finding swing, they proved to be a handful. De Kock was well caught in the deep while attempting a slog sweep, Aiden Markram was done in by one that kept low and straight – both off Shadab – and du Plessis’ top-edge off Amir found Sarfaraz.
Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller got starts, but with moments of excellence in the field making up for plenty of missed chances, Pakistan never let the game get away. Wahab Riaz was on point with his yorkers and took three lower-order wickets in wrapping up an all-round satisfying day.
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