Men's ODI WC: Markram 91, clinical bowling help South Africa beat Pakistan by 1 wicket; go top of the table

Men's ODI WC: Markram 91, clinical bowling help South Africa beat Pakistan by 1 wicket; go top of the table


Chennai, Oct 27 (IANS) Adian Markram scored 91 but South Africa nearly made a hash of a modest chase as they lost three wickets for 10 runs before Keshav Maharaj (7 off 21) and Tabraiz Shamsi (4 off 6) saw through to a one-wicket victory, their first victory against Pakistan in 24 years in a nail-biting finish in Match 26 of the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.

The nervy victory was made possible by the South African bowlers who bowled out Pakistan for 270 in 46.4 overs as the Proteas earned their fifth win in six matches and surged to the top of the table, ahead of India on a better Net Run Rate of 2.032 versus 1.353 of India, who also have 10 points from five wins. 

Markram held the innings together, hitting seven boundaries and three sixes in a 93-ball knock, and with vital contributions from David Miller (29), Temba Bavuma (28) and Rassie van der Dussen (21) had reached 250/6 in the 41st over when they lost Markram was out, handing a catch to Babar Azam off Usama Mir.

South Africa lost (Gerald Coetzee on the same score and when Lungi Ngidi was out for four, caught and bowled by Haris Rauf, they slumped to 260/9 with 11 runs needed for victory with the last-wicket pair of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi, who claimed 4-60 earlier in the match, at the crease. They survived a couple of testing overs by the Pakistan pacers before Keshav Maharaj blasted a boundary to seal a memorable victory for South Africa.

South Africa eventually ended with a score of 271/9 in 47.2 overs to win the match by one wicket. Pakistan, whose bowlers showed real fightback in the last few overs, slumped to their fourth defeat in the World Cup for the first time and now have very slim chances of making it to the knockout stage.

For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed 3-45 in his 10 overs while Haris Rauf (2-62), Mohammad Wasim (2-60) and Usman Mir (2-45) too contributed with the ball but in the end, their effort went in vain as Pakistan slumped to defeat in a thrilling encounter.

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 by a strong bowling effort by South Africa.

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 were 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 (Adian Markram 91, David Miller 29, Temba Bavuma 28; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-45, Haris Rauf 2-62, Mohammad Wasim 2-50, Usman Mir 2-45) by 1 wicket.

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