London: Pakistan made a brilliant come back, as they dished out a clinical performance against South Africa, defeating the latter by 49 runs in the World Cup match here at the Lords Stadium on Sunday.Pakistan, which faced huge criticism, following their defeat to India, would have surely got some relief with this come back against the Proteas.
Apart from batsmen, Pakistan bowlers too performed well and an outsanding spell by Shadab Khan (3/50), Mohammad Amir (2/49) and Wahab Riaz (3/46) broke the batting line-up of South Africa, forcing them to struggle while chasing.
After opting to bat first, Pakistan put up an impressive 308/7 in 50 overs, with the help of Haris Sohail scintillating 89 off 59 (9 fours, 3 sixes), Fakhar Zaman 44 off 50, Babar Azam 69 off 80 and Imam-ul-Haq 44 off 58.
Pakistan got off to a flying start as both the openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq put 81 runs for the first wicket. When Zaman walked back to the hut in the 15th over scoring 44 off 50 balls with the help of 6 fours and 1 six, they already had a hold over the match and even dreamt of scoring 250 plus in the match.
The neighbours could only add 17 runs for the second wickets, which also affected their run rate and gave an indication for the upcoming batsmen that being cautious will be more fruitful, rather going fast.
In the 21st over, Tahir scalped his second wicket in the form of Imam-ul-Haq, who joined Zaman's dismissal and bold and became the highest wicket-taker for South Africa, with 39 wickets in WCs, going past Allan Donald's 38. Imam's innings included 44 of 58 balls.
There was another partnership for the third wicket, where Mohammad Hafeez (20), with Babar Azam played cautiously, stitching 45 runs, but this too couldn't go too far as Hafeez was lbw by Markram in 30th over.
Though, Pakistani batsmen kept walking off the field at regular intervals, but it seem that it didn't bother Babar Azam, who from the other end, kept showering runs and in the 36th over, he completed his half century and took his team to 200 in the 38th, at a loss of three wickets.(UNI)