Champions Trophy: Rain Plays Spoilsport Yet Again as Pak Beat SA

Pakistan defeat South Africa by 19 runs via D/L method in the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham on Wednesday.

4 min read
South Africa’s captain AB de Villiers returns to the pavilion as rain stops play during the Champions Trophy match against Pakistan. (Photo: AP)

A fired up Pakistan got the better of South Africa by 19 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-hit game to remain in contention for a semi-final spot in the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham on Wednesday.

After an embarrassing defeat against India, Pakistan produced a dominant bowling performance to subdue the Proteas.

Pakistan spinners and pacers bowled their heart out to restrict South Africa to a modest 219/8 on a slowish Edgbaston wicket after being asked to bowl.

Pakistan were comfortably placed in their chase at 119/3 in 27 overs when rain interrupted proceedings.

At that stage Pakistan were 19 runs ahead of the par score, according to the DLS method.

Persistent drizzle forced the umpires to call off the match. (Photo: AP)
Persistent drizzle forced the umpires to call off the match. (Photo: AP)

The contest could not be resumed due to persistent drizzle and Pakistan were declared winners of the game.

Had it not been for a fighting knock from David Miller (75 not out), South Africa would have even struggled to get close to the 200-run mark.

It was Miller's slowest fifty in ODI cricket as he took 83 balls to complete it but it came at a crucial time for his side. Miller's 75-run knock had only four boundaries.

He raised a timely 47-run partnership with Chris Morris (28) for the seventh wicket and a 48-run stand with Kagiso Rabada (26) for the eight wicket. These two partnerships were constructed after South Africa were tottering at 118/6 at one point.

Pakistan had made a steady start to their chase with Fakhar Zaman (31) and Azhar Ali (9) stringing a partnership of 40 runs before Morne Morkel dismissed both the batsmen in a space of three balls.

Young batsman Babar Azam then dug his heels and put on a 52-run stand with Mohammaed Hafeez (26) to deny Proteas furher inroads in their innings.

Morne Morkel celebrates after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez. (Photo: AP)
Morne Morkel celebrates after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez. (Photo: AP)

Morkel was at it again as he broke the partnership by getting rid of Hafeez but Malik remained solid to lead Pakistan to a much-needed win.

Seasoned Shoaib Maik (16*) then combined well with young Babar Azam (31*) to ensure they do not suffer anymore setbacks. They added 52 runs for the fourth wicket.

Earlier, the spinners choked the Proteas in the beginning of their innings, with three strikes and later the pacemen pulled the rug from under South Africa's feet with fiery spells.

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim took two wickets upfront while paceman Hasan Ali (3/18) wiped off the middle order that turned the tide in Pakistan’s favour.

Pacers Mohammed Amir and Junaid Khan (2/53) did not take many wickets but peppered the South Africans with well-calculated yorkers to further choke them.

Pakistan spinners proved very effective early in the South African innings with Wasim (2/20) and Mohammed Hafeez (1/51) cleaning up the top-order within 15 overs.

Wasim, who was introduced in the ninth over, struck with his second ball to break the steady opening stand. He trapped the consistent Hashim Amla (16) and then handed skipper AB De Villiers (0) his first ever golden duck in ODIs.

De Villiers flashed hard at one but hit straight to point where Hafeez took a simple catch.

Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez, centre, celebrates after trapping South Africa’s Quinton De Kock LBW. (Photo: AP)
Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez, centre, celebrates after trapping South Africa’s Quinton De Kock LBW. (Photo: AP)

Mohammed Hafeez dismissed the well-set Quinton de Kock (33), who used his feet very well before attempting a sweep and was caught in front of the wicket.

Together, they bowled 14 overs in tandem, not giving many easy runs to the Proteas batsmen.

Faf du Plessis (26) and David Miller had to work hard to keep ticking the scoreboard but they could not build a big partnership as paceman Hasan Ali came out to ball and removed the former with the second ball of his spell.

Ali pitched it slightly outside off, Du Plessis went for a drive but dragged it back onto his stumps. It left South Africa reeling at 90 for four in 22.2 overs.

The paceman wreaked havoc a few overs later when he dismissed JP Duminy (8) and Wayne Parnell (0) in successive balls.

Duminy chased a widish delivery and ended up getting caught at slip by Babar Azam while a faster one crashed through the defence of Parnell.

The wickets meant South Africa were in tatters, 118 for six, putting Pakistan on top in the contest. Miller and Morris repaired the innings a bit before Junaid Khan broke their stand.

(With inputs from PTI)

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