AUSTRALIA: Shadab Khan’s all-round performance and Iftikhar Ahmed’s half-century helped Pakistan (PAK) to defeat South Africa (SA) by 33 runs at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). This win means that Pakistan can still qualify for the semi-finals of this T20 World Cup. With 4 points each, Pakistan and Bangladesh have their semifinal chances alive.
In this innings, after winning the toss, Pakistan decided to bat first. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan opened the innings for Pakistan. This was a must-win game for PAK, but they immediately started off on the wrong foot. They lost three wickets before the power play ended.
After the power play, they lost another wicket, and PAK was 43-4 in 6.3 overs. From these 43 runs, Haris made 28 runs.
Iftikhar increased the score to 68-4 with two boundaries in the tenth over. Iftikhar and Nawaz were building a solid partnership as they scored 52 runs for the fifth wicket before Nawaz was dismissed (LBW) in the 13th over.
Nawaz did not take the review even after the snickometer showed a spike in the replay depicting a possible edge.
Iftikhar and Shadab started rebuilding the Pakistan Innings, and PAK was 120-5 at the end of 15 overs. Ifthikar and Shadab started scoring runs quicker with the help of some gigantic sixes. In this innings, Iftikhar Ahmed also smashed the farthest six of the tournament (106m).
At the end of the 17th over, PAK was 148-5. They scored 66 runs in the last 5 overs. Shadab scored a brilliant 52 off just 22 deliveries before getting out in the 19th over. His fantastic innings deserved more than a few words, but as the commentator put it, “carnage at the SCG.”
PAK was reduced to 185-8 after three consecutive wickets were taken, including Iftikhar (51). Pakistan turned the game remarkably from 43-4 to 185-8.
For South Africa, Anrich Nortje took 4 wickets, while Parnell, Rabada, Ngidi and Shamsi took 1 wicket each.
South African Innings
Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock opened the innings for SA. PAK couldn’t have asked for a better start, as Shaheen Afridi removed de Kock in the very first over. Afridi also dismissed Rossouw in his 2nd over, and South Africa’s two in-form batsmen were out in the power play.
Despite losing two wickets early on, Bavuma and Markram scored 48 runs in the power-play. SA received a big blow in the 8th over as Shadab removed Markram (20) and Bavuma (36) in the first over of his bowling spell.
Rain interrupted the game in the ninth over, and SA was 69-4, 15 runs short of the DLS par score. The match was resumed, but the new target was 142 in 14 overs due to rain, which meant SA needed 73 runs in 30 balls.
Klassen and Stubbs got right to work after the rain, scoring 14 runs in the 10th over. SA was now 83-4 with four overs remaining.
Things were looking bleak for SA after Klassen and Stubbs got out. In the end, PAK’s tight bowling prevented SA from scoring runs.
Group 2 Points Table
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