Pakistan secured a crucial 33-run victory over South Africa on the DLS Method in a rain-affected match in Sydney to keep themselves in contention for a T20 World Cup semi-finals spot.
Pakistan finished on 185-9 after a difficult start but South Africa’s reply was halted nine overs into their chase as rain fell with the Proteas struggling on 67-4.
Their target was revised to 141 in 14 overs after a lenghty delay but they were never in contention as wickets continued to fall, finishing on 107-9 to give Pakistan a crucial win.
Earlier opener Mohammad Rizwan (4 off 4) was dismissed cheaply before Muhammad Haris (28 off 11), Mohammed Azam (6 off 15) and Shan Masood (2 off 6) then fell in quick succession as Anrich Nortje’s pace proved too much to handle, the fast bowler finishing on four wickets from four overs in a sublime display.
However, the middle-order partnership of Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 35) and Shadab Khan (52 off 22) provided the turnaround for Pakistan, finding 52 runs from the middle five overs before charging onwards, Khan hitting the half-century in just 20 deliveries.
South Africa fought back at the end, taking the crucial wickets of Ahmed and Khan alongside Muhammed Waseem (0 off 1) in the space of seven balls but it was too little too late.
South Africa had fallen to 67-4 when rain halted play just nine overs into their innings, Quinton de Kock (0 off 5) and Rilee Rossouw (7 off 6) falling for less than double figures and putting the tie in Pakistan’s favour.
After a long stoppage, South Africa came out with a target of 73 runs off 30 balls with the innings reduced to 14 overs, but Heinrich Klaasen fell shortly after being caught off a high shot by Imad Wasim before he then dismissed Wayne Parnell (3 off 4) for an lbw.
Tristan Stubbs (18 off 18) was then the next to fall as Mohammad Nawaz positioned himself well to take the catch, Kagiso Rabada (1 off 2) and Nortje (1 off 5) then making short appearance at the crease as South Africa chanced their arm to try and find runs.
Their efforts fell short overall and they ended the innings on 108-9, moving Pakistan up to third in the table.
“Our first two matches were close losses but we’ve given 100% in our last two matches,” said Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.
“Cricket is a funny game, you never know, so we’ll hope for the best.”
Pakistan’s final game is against Netherlands in Adelaide (midnight UK time Saturday night into Sunday morning), while South Africa play Bangladesh from 4am on Sunday.
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