#CWC15: Pakistan back in World Cup hunt after South Africa victory

MATCH 29: AB de Villiers’ 58-ball 77 for South Africa was not enough to deny Pakistan vital points as they won by 29 runs.

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The Pakistan pace trio bowled their hearts out to give their team a 29-run win (by Duckworth-Lewis method) over in Auckland on Saturday as they revived their bid for a quarter-final place.

Rahat Ali (left, main photo) grabbed a career-best 3 for 40, while Mohammad Irfan (3 for 52) and Wahab Riaz (3 for 45) also made big contributions as South Africa, chasing a revised target of 232 in 47 overs, were dismissed for 202 in 33.3 overs.

De Villiers hit a brilliant 58-ball 77 with 5 sixes and 7 fours but failed to stop Pakistan from registering their third win in five matches – and their first victory over the South Africans in all World Cups.

Batting first, Pakistan were dismissed in 46.4 overs after two rain interruptions, which reduced the match to 47 overs per side. Misbah-ul-Haq scored 56 while Sarfraz Ahmed drafted in for the misfiring Nasir Jamshed, made run-a-ball 49 opening the innings. Sarfraz also equalled the record for most catches by a keeper in a One-Day International match when he caught de Villiers off Sohail Khan in the 33rd over of the South Africa innings.

South Africa were off to a disastrous start as Quinton de Kock was dismissed in Irfan’s first over of the innings. Hashim Amla hit nine boundaries in his 38 as the Proteas regrouped with a 67-run second wicket stand with Faf du Plessis, but Pakistan hit back.

Rahat removed du Plessis and David Miller for a duck, while Wahab dismissed Amla and Rilee Rossouw (6) as South Africa lost four wickets for just 10 runs in the space of 39 balls.

Irfan returned to dismiss JP Duminy for 12 as South Africa, who would have been in the quarterfinals had they won this match, were left reeling at 102 for 6.

De Villiers came to the party, adding 36 with Dale Steyn (16) and another invaluable 33 for the eighth with Kyle Abbott, who made 12. He hit two sixes in one Shahid Afridi over to reach his fifty off just 45 balls before Pakistan hit back hard and finished things off.

Earlier, Misbah steadied Pakistan’s innings with a determined 86-ball knock – his fourth half-century in five matches at the World Cup. Misbah hit four boundaries before he holed out at third man off Steyn, who finished with 3 for 30.

Before Misbah took charge, Sarfraz put on a confident 30-run opening stand with Ahmed Shehzad (18) – the best opening stand for Pakistan in this tournament – before Steyn held a smart diving catch at long-on to to send Shehzad back.

Ahmed, who did not play in Pakistan’s earlier matches, hit three sixes in one Duminy over before he ran himself out while taking a second run in a bid to reach his fifty. He also hit five boundaries in his run-a-ball knock.

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James Buttler

James has been working as a cricket journalist and broadcaster since 2006.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!

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