Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

In a heart-stopping match, South Africa claimed a one-wicket victory over Pakistan, propelling them to the top of the Cricket World Cup standings. The thrilling showdown took place on Friday.

Aiden Markram played a pivotal role, scoring an impressive 91 runs from 93 balls, as South Africa broke a 24-year World Cup jinx against Pakistan. This hard-fought win brought them closer to securing a spot in the semi-finals, marking their fifth victory in six matches.

With South Africa nine wickets down, it was Keshav Maharaj who struck the winning boundary with just 16 balls remaining, securing the victory that sent his team to the top of the World Cup table.

Set a target of 271 to win, South Africa faced early setbacks with the departures of opener Quinton de Kock and captain Temba Bavuma, leaving them at 67 for two. The situation worsened when Rassie van der Dussen and Heinrich Klaasen fell for 21 and 12 runs, respectively, bringing the score to 136 for four. Pakistan’s resilient bowling posed a challenge to South Africa’s formidable batting unit.

Despite facing adversity, South Africa managed to clinch their first World Cup victory while chasing a target. Even though Markram fell to Usama Mir and Gerald Coetzee was caught behind off Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-45), Keshav Maharaj and the player of the match, Tabraiz Shamsi, displayed unwavering determination, leading South Africa to a thrilling win.

In their innings, Pakistan faced a tough situation at 141 for five when their captain, Babar Azam, was dismissed after scoring 50 runs. However, Saud Shakeel’s run-a-ball 52 and Shadab Khan’s 43 runs led a spirited counter-attack. Nevertheless, Pakistan was eventually bowled out for 270 runs from 46.4 overs.

South Africa’s fifth victory catapulted them to the top of the World Cup table, sharing 10 points with hosts India, who have played one more game. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s semi-final aspirations hang in the balance after suffering their fourth defeat in the tournament.

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