In an electrifying showdown at the ICC World Cup 2023, South Africa triumphed over Pakistan with a one-wicket win, ending a 23-year-long wait for an ODI World Cup victory against their rivals. This thrilling contest had fans on the edge of their seats, resulting in South Africa’s fifth victory in the competition and propelling them to the top of the points table, displacing India from the number one spot.
Chasing a target of 271 runs, South Africa appeared to be in control at 206/4 in the 33rd over, with David Miller’s dismissal providing Pakistan a glimmer of hope. However, the former champions seized the opportunity, reducing South Africa to 260/9, leaving Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi with the daunting task of securing their team’s victory.
In a heart-pounding climax, Maharaj and Shamsi displayed nerves of steel, with a touch of luck on their side. The tension reached its peak when a “not out” lbw decision in favor of Shamsi was upheld despite Pakistan’s review due to an “umpire’s call” in the 46th over. With South Africa needing just 8 runs to win and having only one wicket in hand, the two players remained resolute. South Africa eventually completed their chase in 47.2 overs, sealing a memorable win.
Earlier in the match, Pakistan batters, led by skipper Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel, managed to post a total of 270 runs. Babar contributed 50 runs off 65 deliveries, while Shakeel added a brisk 52. However, despite several promising partnerships, Pakistan faltered in the latter part of their innings, ultimately being bowled out in 46.4 overs. Left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi stood out with impressive figures of four for 60, while Marco Jansen and Gerald Coetzee combined to claim five crucial wickets.
The match began with an eventful maiden over from Jansen, accounting for the early wickets of Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq, reducing Pakistan to 38 for 2 in the seventh over. However, it could have been further trouble for Pakistan had Jansen managed to hold on to a caught-and-bowled chance for Mohammad Rizwan. Rizwan, despite the early scare, began aggressively and partnered with Babar to construct a valuable 48-run stand.
Key Partnerships and Late Struggles
Throughout Pakistan’s innings, they built promising partnerships, with the duo of Babar and Iftikhar Ahmed adding 43 for the fourth wicket. However, their momentum was halted when Babar was dismissed after reaching his 31st ODI half-century. A crucial partnership between Saud Shakeel and Shadab Khan, contributing 84 runs, aimed to bring the innings back on track. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s batting eventually crumbled as they chased the elusive 300-run mark.
The ICC World Cup 2023 witnessed a sensational clash between South Africa and Pakistan, which will be remembered for its nail-biting finish and South Africa’s long-awaited victory over their rivals. This win has catapulted South Africa to the top of the points table, adding further excitement and anticipation to the ongoing tournament. Cricket enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the next thrilling encounter in this fiercely competitive World Cup.