PAK vs SA, CWC 2023: South Africa Hold Their Nerves, Beat Pakistan By 1 Wicket In Thriller

PAK vs SA, CWC 2023: South Africa Hold Their Nerves, Beat Pakistan By 1 Wicket In Thriller

In what proved to be the first thriller of the 2023 World Cup so far, Keshav Maharaj held his nerves to steer South Africa over the line with 1 wicket to spare.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, October 27, 2023, 11:21 PM IST
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Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. | (Credits: Twitter)

South Africa have consigned Pakistan to their 4th consecutive loss in the 2023 World Cup as they prevailed a nail-biter with 1 wicket at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday. Keshav Maharaj showcased nerves of steel as he struck a boundary to steer his side over the line for their 5th victory with 16 balls to spare.

Pakistan, choosing to bat first, had to make one mandatory change as Hasan Ali was ruled out due to sickness, paving the way for Mohammad Wasim. Several Pakistan batters, including Babar Azam, made promising starts, but couldn't convert them into big scores. Having succumbed to 141-5 in the 28th over immediately after the captain's half-century, Pakistan ran the risk of leaving about hundred runs out there.

However, Shadab Khan and Saud Shakeel showed some teeth during their 84-run partnership. Shakeel powered himself to a run-a-ball half-century after Shadab exited the stage with a 36-ball 43. While 270 is a total not to be sneezed at, Pakistan would have aimed for beyond 300 at 225-5. Moreover, they fell well below 50 overs, batting out only 46.4 of them.

Quinton de Kock hits Shaheen Shah Afridi for a flurry of boundaries as South Africa start well:

Injury hit Pakistan in the very first over of South Africa's innings as Shadab Khan hit his head while fielding, prompting him to walk off the field. It emerged midway through the innings that Usama Mir had been roped in as a concussion substitute. Meanwhile, Shaheen Shah Afridi delivered the opening wicket by dismissing Quinton de Kock, followed by Mohammad Wasim getting the better of the returning captain.

Usama Mir cashes in:

Mir made his chance count, breaking the vital stand between Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram in a controversial-laden DRS. Wasim made another massive dent in South Africa's chase, claiming the big fish Heinrich Klaasen, who holed out to deep third. At the other end, Aiden Markram looked immovable and cut the target significantly in the company of David Miller.

Shaheen Shah Afridi broke Miller's resistance in what proved to be a magnificent spell for the next few overs, taking one more in the form of Gerald Coetzee. Mir put Pakistan firmly in front when Markram played a poor shot in the 41st over. Haris Rauf was the only one left to make a dent in the Proteas' armoury as did so with the wicket of Marco Jansen, followed by a one-handed stunner to scalp Lungi Ngidi. And Rauf could've been the match-winner on any other day, had the umpire's call against Shamsi gone his way.

With anyone's game to lose with 1 wicket left and 4 runs to get, Keshav Maharaj roared after Mohammad Nawaz unleashed a gimme and he took full leverage of it.

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