The historic ground of Lords was set to host the mouthwatering clash between Pakistan and South Africa in the Cricket World Cup. The two powerhouses of the cricketing world had an underwhelming campaign so far, South Africa and Pakistan were at 8th and 9th position respectively on the points table and made this match a must win for both the sides.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. Under the bright sun and clear sky the duo of Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq took the reins of Pakistan and started off brilliantly. The duo made most of the powerplay fielding restrictions, providing Pakistan a solid foundation. Pakistan lost its first wicket when Fakhar played a peculiar shot on Tahir Shah’s delivery and was caught by Hashim Amla. Babar Azam was the next man in but not long after Imam was also dismissed by Tahir Shah who took a stunning catch on his own ball. Muhammad Hafeez came out to accompany Babar Azam and the couple looked strong but Hafeez was dismissed by Markram and it appeared that another toppling will occur. Harris Sohail walked out to prevent the crumbling and right from the start Harris took on South African bowlers hitting them confidently, while Babar Azam completed his half century and both helped Pakistan cross 200. After the 40th over Babar Azam decided to go big but soon fell on 69. Imad was the next man while Harris kept hitting hard and completed his 50 on 38 balls. Imad added valuable 23 on 15 balls and Harris Sohail got dismissed in the last over as Pakistan posted a target of 309 for South Africa.
Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock came out to chase and Muhammad Amir dismissed the big fish Hashim Amla with his first delivery. Skipper Faf Du Plessis came out to to play the anchorman role for his side and alongside de Kock built a strong partnership until in the 20th over de Kock was dismissed by Shadab Khan. Quickly after that Shadab bowled Markram and South Africa started struggling. Van Dussen came out to give company to Du Plessis but Amir was brought into the attack and he provided Pakistan a breakthrough once again, this time getting rid of Faf Du Plessis. Miller was the last specialist batsman and with Van Dussen on the other end they started to push Pakistan back but the fall of Van Dussen and Miller in consecutive overs was the end of Proteas hope. From there onwards, Pakistan wiped off Morris, Rabada and Ngidi easily. Phehulkawayo scored a good 40+ but it didn’t hurt Pakistan and they won the game comfortably by 49 runs.
Harris Sohail won the accolade of Player of the Match for his wonderful 89 on 59 balls, an innings which significantly helped Pakistan kept their dreams of World Cup 2019 alive and ended South Africans hope of progressing further in this year’s Cricket World Cup.