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T20 World Cup 2022: Pakistan Keep Semi-Final Hopes Alive With 33-Run Win Over SA

T20 World Cup 2022: Pakistan will need to win their last match, and hope either India or South Africa fumble.

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Cricket
3 min read
T20 World Cup 2022: Pakistan Keep Semi-Final Hopes Alive With 33-Run Win Over SA
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Pakistan kept their slender hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 alive with a crucial victory against South Africa. Babar Azam’s men defeated the Proteas by 33 runs on Thursday, 3 November, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

With this win, Pakistan climbed to the third position in the Group 2 standings – tied on points with Bangladesh (4), but ahead on net run rate. To qualify for the semi-finals, the 2009 champions will first need to beat the Bangla Tigers in their last encounter.

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That, in isolation, will not be enough, as they will also need either India to lose their last match against Zimbabwe, or South Africa to lose their last match against the Netherlands.

If the match between South Africa and Netherlands does not yield a winner, Pakistan will need to beat Bangladesh by a significantly big margin, with the Proteas having a superior net run rate.

Chasing a target of 186 runs, South Africa had a disastrous start, with Shaheen Afridi sending both Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw back to the pavilion with only 16 runs on the scoreboard. However, after a string of unconvincing knocks, the Proteas’ skipper turned up to the occasion.

Temba Bavuma scored 36 runs in 19 deliveries, but he and Aiden Markram were both dismissed in the eighth over by Shadab Khan.

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When South Africa were 69/4 after nine overs, the game had an unwanted intruder in rain, and though the match resumed after an hour, it was now a 14-over affair.

Bavuma’s team was given a revised target of 142 runs – meaning they needed 73 runs from the remaining 30 deliveries. All they could muster was a score of 108/9, succumbing to a 33-run defeat.

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Shadab, Iftikhar’s Half-Centuries Prove To Be Valuable

Earlier, after opting to bat first, Pakistan did not get the start they would have wanted, with Mohammad Rizwan losing his wicket in the very first over. A cameo of 28 runs from Mohammad Haris got the green shirts back in the game, but his dismissal was followed by a procession of wickets.

From 38/1, Pakistan found themselves reeling at 43/4 when Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed stabilised the innings. Nawaz lost his wicket in the 13th over, but it did not have any effect on his team’s scoring rate, as Shadab Khan played perhaps the best knock of his T20I career.

The all-rounder scored a 22-ball 52, while Iftikhar Ahmed also scored a half-century to help Pakistan post a big total of 185-9. For South Africa, three bowlers conceded 9 or more runs per over, with Wayne Parnell and Lungi Ngidi being the only exceptions.

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