The 26th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is underway with Pakistan facing the No.2 ranked team in the ICC Rankings table i.e South Africa. With a winning streak of 4, South Africa has played a total of 5 matches and lost only one against Netherlands. On the other hand, Pakistan, also having played 5 matches, won only two of them while remaining defeated in three consecutive matches. The big match is on and it will be worthwhile to see whether Babar Azam and Co. will be able to seal their spot in the semi-finals.
Match scenes so far
After having won the toss, Pakistan opted to bat first and delivered a target of 270 runs to the Proteas after getting bowled out in 47 overs with 2 balls to spare. While most of their batsmen scored double digits, skipper Babar Azam and left-handed batsman Sud Shakeel went on to score half centuries at 50 and 52 respectively. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr. provided the much needed breakthrough for the team as they scalped two wickets each with Usama Mir taking a single wicket. Despite some improvements in the Men in Green’s performance, South Africa seems to make it hard for them to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
Wasim on the verge of getting a serious injury
With the beginning of the second innings, South African batsmen showcased their exceptional batting prowess yet again with Aiden Markram smashing a fifty and just a few runs away from scoring a hundred against Pakistan. While they seemed to dominate the match, Mohammad Wasim Jr picked up a sudden injury while getting a run-out after the 30th over. After his sudden fall on the ground due to bad cramps, Babar Azam came to check upon the bowler following the physiotherapist rushing to him to assess the situation and test his injury.
Mohammad Wasim was initially named as a replacement for ace pacer Hasan Ali who was ruled out in today’s match following his illness as the fast bowler got a fever the previous day. Though, luckily Wasim is back on his feet with his bowling spells in the further overs, Pakistan really needs to earn some wickets following South Africa’s speeded run chase.