Pakistan 185 to 9 (Shadab 52, Iftikhar 51, Norte 4-41) won South Africa 108 for 9 of 14 strokes (Pafuma 36, Afridi 3-14, Shadab 2-16) by 33 strokes (DLS method)
Pakistan kept their semi-final hopes alive by winning a must-win match against their favorite: South Africa. They have met four times in the T20 World Cup and Pakistan has won all four of their matches. With this latest result, there is now no team left unbeaten in this World Cup.
Mohamed Haris I was Parachute in Pakistan Eleventh After suffering a recurring knee injury that he suffered this year at the end of the tournament, Fekhar Zaman made an immediate impact. He hit the net with the second ball he encountered – Wayne Parnell’s short – and that seemed to put him in action. He went into the opener of Kajisu Rabada, sending a half ball over a deep back box for six, then pulling his beautiful leg for another six before slicing another short ball across the box leg to cost South Africa their most expensive win of the tournament. Now: 17 runs.
A goalkeeper showed obvious strength in playing the ball on the side of the leg, complete with dribbling through the stems, that was his dip as well. He missed Enrich Norte’s delivery, was hit in a row with the torso, and given a light weight. His 28 out of 11 balls gave some impetus to Pakistan’s Powerplay, and they finished with Powerplay’s highest score in the tournament, 42, although they lost out to the top three.
Iftikhar Ahmed And the Muhammad Nawaz He helped Pakistan recover from 43 to 4 with a position of the fifth wicket 52 times. They had some awkward moments up front, when Fakhtar flew the ball skyward, to Quinton de Kock’s right. De Kock made a valiant effort with one hand and could not hold out. After two balls, Noah got a thick, wide rim from De Kock, but the duo didn’t look back from there.
Iftikhar took advantage of the wrong lines and lengths from Rabada and Nawaz acquired Ngidi and then Shamsi. He hit Al Shamsi on the deep midway and then got ready for the sweep but he missed and hit the front cushion. Nawaz set off for a jog where he was handed, then Lungi Ngidi’s direct injury found tree trunks. Nawaz must have thought that he had run out and did not review the matter. Replays showed that he had a thick bottom edge, and also that he had made a mistake. The ball would have died the moment the referee raised his finger – before Najidi’s throw – in accordance with Law 126.96.36.199. Nawaz was not to come out.
But maybe that’s not a bad thing
The dismissal of Nawaz made Shadab Khan wrinkled, and Pakistan could not ask for anything else. Shadab impressed Shamsi and scored 13 points in the finish, which cost 15 in total, before firing full Ngidi into the deep back box for four, pushing Nortje halfway for four more and ramping him up to six. Nortje chose to fill up the bowl in the end and tried the yorker’s mistake. Shadab sent the full draw to the stands and then again over an extended period, to bring in fifty of 20 balls – the second fastest fifty in Pakistan in T20I cricket. He put Pakistan at 200 but then got big once a few times, Aiden Markram dropped him long and then Tristan Stubbs caught him half way deep.
Overall, Pakistan scored 90 points out of the last seven transgressions.
The frantic Pakistani end
Shadab’s expulsion led to a severe end to the rounds in which Pakistan lost four wickets to eight runs as Pakistan tried to break the boundaries with every ball. Nortjee and Pafuma’s superstar Mohammed Waseem took off from the track for a quick run. In the end, Iftikhar chose to face Rabada and hit it long as Riley Russo picked up a fine grab. And goalkeeper Rauf ran out of the last ball, while Pakistan scrambled to run a fourth. Pafuma was the man who broke tree trunks.
Afridi’s amazing start
The Pakistani player made a quiet start to the tournament, with only one small gate out of the first three matches, and made it clear that he was working his way up to a head full of energy after returning from injury. He got there in this match, as he kicked off a streak of long deliveries to De Kock, who was eyeing the midfield but couldn’t find it. De Kock got the last ball at the end, but finished his effort to Haris on the edge of the ring. De Kock was fired for a duck. The next time, Afridi pulled off the big South African fish, Russo, with a reel that wasn’t worth a small stake. It was short and wide and yelled “Hit me,” and Rousseau had to. It fell to a depth of a third as Naseem Shah ran to take the catch. South Africa was 16 to 2.
Shadab double strike
Pavuma played his most satisfying and winning role in 2022, scoring 36 of 18 balls (including a scoop for six, which he tried and failed earlier in the tournament) and looked like a hoodoo crash. But Shadab continued to own the night when he came in at eight. Pafuma opened his racket face to try to hit a third, then blasted off. This strike was crucial, because as the rains approached, it put South Africa behind on the DLS. After an increase of 7.1, at two down, the average DLS was 59. With a decrease of three, it jumped to 66. South Africa was 65th at the time. It only got worse for them. Two balls later, Shadab threw Markram with a spinning wheel, as the hitter came back to attempt the cut, South Africa was 66 for 4. Teams removed nine balls later, and it was clear that Shadab had a decisive role in this match.
Firdous Munda is the ESPNcricinfo correspondent in South Africa
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