South Africa edge Pakistan in thriller

Keshav Maharaj hit the winning runs as South Africa beat Pakistan by one wicket in a nail-biting finish in the ICC World Cup match here on Friday
South Africa edge Pakistan in thriller

CHENNAI: Keshav Maharaj hit the winning runs as South Africa beat Pakistan by one wicket in a nail-biting finish in the ICC World Cup match here on Friday.

Chasing a below-par target of 270 South Africa were on course for an easy victory, but lost their way after Aiden Markram was dismissed for 91 in the 41st over, with the score 257 for 7.

Gerald Coetzee and Lungi Ngidi soon perished cheaply and it was left to Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi to take the Proteas home. The last pair put their heads down and got them home for a memorable victory.

South Africa slipped from 206 for 4 to 260 for 9 before Maharaj kept his composure to hit the winning boundary in the 48th over.

South Africa, who won their fifth match, jumped to top of the standings with 10 points. They are ahead of India on net run-rate, while Pakistan suffered their fourth defeat in six matches and their qualification for the semis looks quite difficult.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam and middle-order batter Saud Shakeel struck half-centuries while Marco Jansen (3-42) and Tabraz Shamsi (4-60) as Pakistan were bundled out for a modest 270 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Electing to bat first, Pakistan were reduced to 38 for two as Jansen landed a couple of early blows sending back openers Abdullah Shafique (9) and Imam-ul-Haq (23) to the pavilion by the seventh over.

Skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (31) shared a 48-run partnership to take the score to 86 before Rizwan, who reached 2000 ODI runs became the third Pakistani wicketkeeper batter to do so, before edging one behind to Quinton de Kock off Gerald Coetzee (2-42). Iftikhar Ahmad (21) departed early but Babar continued to hold the fort as he completed his half-century in 64 balls, hitting 4 boundaries and one six.

Babar also edged behind to de Kock off Tabraiz Shamsi as Pakistan were reduced to 141/5 in the 28th over. Saud Shakeel took over the score after that and along with Shadab Khan (43) added 84 runs for the sixth wicket partnership to give some respectability to the score. Shakeel completed his half-century off 50 balls.

But once both of them got out, Pakistan suffered a collapse and their innings was restricted to 270, leaving South Africa to score 271 to register their fifth victory in the tournament.

Brief scores: Pakistan 270 all out in 46.4 overs (Babar Azam 50, Saud Shakeel 52, Shadab Khan 43, Mohd Rizwan 31; Marco Jansen 3-43, Tabraiz Shamsi 4-60, Gerald Coetzee 2-42) lost to South Africa 271/9 in 47.2 overs (Aiden Markram 91, David Miller 29, Temba Bavuma 28, De Kock 24, Usama Mir 2/45, Md Wasim 2/50, Haris Rauf 2/62). Agencies

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