SA vs PAk : South Africa Triumphs Over Pakistan in a Nail-Biting Finish, World Cup 2023, Cricbuzz

Cricbuzzteam, SA vs PAK, The cricketing world witnessed an electrifying showdown as South Africa narrowly edged past Pakistan by just one wicket in a thrilling encounter in Chennai on Friday, October 27. Chasing a slightly under-par target of 271, the Proteas were cruising at one point, guided by Aiden Markram and David Miller, making their way towards a comfortable win. However, a dramatic collapse saw them at 260/9 with just 27 deliveries remaining. In an intense finale, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi held their nerve, securing a historic victory for South Africa. This marks the first time in seven attempts since 1999 that South Africa has managed to beat Pakistan in a World Cup match (ODI/T20I).

SA vs PAK : Markram and Miller’s Stand

The run chase kicked off in spectacular fashion as Iftikhar Ahmed, Pakistan’s bowler, sent the very first delivery of the innings for five wides, an unfortunate start down the leg-side that even Mohammad Rizwan couldn’t prevent. The initial 11-run over, including four boundaries from Quinton de Kock, was far from ideal for Pakistan. However, things took a turn for the worse in the next over when Shaheen Afridi’s first over went for 19 runs. This rapid start was exactly what South Africa had hoped for, but Pakistan quickly regained control by dismissing both openers within the first Powerplay. The short ball tactic proved effective as Afridi removed de Kock, and Mohammed Wasim Jr sent Temba Bavuma packing.

Aiden Markram quickly found his groove, displaying impeccable timing on a pitch where most batters struggled to find their rhythm. Rassie van der Dussen provided support for a while before falling to spin, a recurring theme in his recent games. An early head injury to Shadab Khan while fielding forced Pakistan to introduce Usama Mir as the concussion substitute, a move that proved beneficial when Mir removed van der Dussen in his very first over, rekindling Pakistan’s hopes. The persistent short ball strategy paid off with Heinrich Klaasen’s dismissal, leaving the game evenly poised at 136/4. Markram and Miller then combined for a crucial 70-run partnership, seemingly taking the game away from Pakistan.

Pakistan needed a spark, and Shaheen Afridi delivered it by dismissing Miller. This breakthrough allowed the Afridi-Rauf duo to take on South Africa’s lower order. Wickets fell at regular intervals, with Mir’s removal of Markram being a turning point. The pressure exerted by Pakistan’s bowlers began to unsettle South Africa, and it was evident that the outcome hinged on the rub of the green.

With 11 runs needed and a slow, variable pitch, South Africa faced a daunting task. As much as they needed Maharaj and Shamsi to stand their ground, they also required some luck. They got it in the final ball of Rauf’s spell, with an LBW decision that barely went South Africa’s way. This moment would prove pivotal, as Maharaj and Shamsi kept their cool to secure victory.

Debates will surely arise over Pakistan’s decision to bowl Mohammad Nawaz instead of a wrist spinner like Usama Mir to target South Africa’s tail. Despite defending an under-par score, Pakistan will lament the 20 deliveries they failed to utilize. While most Pakistan batters got starts, they couldn’t convert them into substantial scores. Captain Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel reached half-centuries but couldn’t bat deep into the innings. Losing wickets at regular intervals prevented Pakistan from dominating the South African bowlers.

Tabraiz Shamsi’s four-wicket haul was a highlight, not just for the wickets but for his aggressive intent. Marco Jansen set the tone early with two crucial wickets in the first Powerplay. While Shakeel and Shadab batted with intent, their partnership was broken by Shamsi, causing Pakistan’s innings to crumble. Ultimately, Pakistan was bowled out well within their allotted overs, and in a game that went down to the wire, they would rue the missed opportunities that could have made a significant difference.

The South Africa vs. Pakistan clash in the World Cup was a thrilling encounter that will be remembered for years to come. South Africa’s triumph in the nail-biting finale showcased the unpredictability and excitement that cricket brings to its fans.

Brief scores: Pakistan 270 in 46.4 overs (Saud Shakeel 52, Babar Azam 50; Tabraiz Shamsi 4-60, Marco Jansen 3-43) lost to South Africa 271/9 in 47.2 overs (Aiden Markram 91; Shaheen Afridi 3-45, Usama Mir 2-45) by one wicket

Also Check – South Africa Secures the Top Spot, While Pakistan Struggles in the Cricket World Cup 2023

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