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Pakistan shock South Africa in thriller

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SYDNEY, (AFP) - Pakistan clinched a thrilling 29-run win over South Africa at the World Cup on Saturday to put themselves on course for the quarter-finals, while Ireland were also in sight of a last-eight place.

Chasing just 232 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis method at Eden Park in Auckland, South Africa, who would have been assured of a quarter-final slot had they won, were bowled out for 202 despite captain AB de Villiers’ valiant 77.

Rahat Ali grabbed a career-best three for 40, with fellow left-arm seamers Mohammad Irfan (3 for 52) and Wahab Riaz (3 for 45) as South Africa were dismissed in 33.3 overs in a game which ended in a torrential downpour.

The result left South Africa and Pakistan both on six points and well-placed for the quarter-finals.

Pakistan had suffered a trademark batting collapse following two rain-breaks in Auckland and were dismissed for just 222, having been 92 for one and 156 for three.

The match was twice held up for rain and the second stoppage did little for Pakistan’s fragile confidence as they lost five wickets for the addition of just 25 runs.

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq top scored with 56 off 86 balls -- his fourth half-century in five matches at this World Cup and the 42nd of his career -- as the 40-year-old went past 5,000 one-day international runs, although he still awaits a first century.

Sarfraz later claimed a record-equalling six catches behind the stumps and was named man-of-the-match.

“I am very thankful to the world and Pakistan for this opportunity,” said Sarfraz who replaced Nasir Jamshed at the top of the order.

“This is my World Cup debut, but Mushtaq Ahmed (one of the team’s coaching staff) encouraged me and told me to go out and enjoy myself.”

Fast bowler Dale Steyn led a disciplined South Africa bowling performance with three for 30 and also held a brilliant, flying catch to get rid of Ahmed Shehzad.
When they batted, South Africa lost out-of-form opener Quinton de Kock for a second ball duck which followed scores of 7, 7, 12 and 1.

But Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis comfortably put on 67 for the second wicket before Pakistan sensationally lived up to South Africa coach Russell Domingo’s pre-match assessment of the 1992 champions’ “predictable unpredictability”.

Pakistan: 222 in 46.4 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 49, Younis Khan 37, Misbah-ul-Kaq 56, Shahid Afridi 22, Steyn 3/30, Abbott 2/45, Morkel 2/25)
South Africa: 202 in 33.3 overs (Hashim Amla 38, Faf du Plessis 27, AB. de Villiers 77, Irfan 3/52, Ali 3/40, Riaz 3/45)

Last modified on Saturday, 07 March 2015 21:36
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