Pakistan win by runs 49 against South Africa at The Oval's.
South Africa's World Cup hopes crumbled into dust as Haris Sohail smashed a rapid-fire 89 to help Pakistan secure a 49-run win at Lord's on Sunday that kept their own chances of reaching the knockouts alive.
Sohail's dominant 59-ball knock and a tidy half century from Babar Azam helped Pakistan reach 308-7, a total that South Africa never threatened to surpass.
South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis offered their only real resistance with a 79-ball 63 in another poor batting display from his side.
Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan took three wickets each as Pakistan condemned South Africa to a fifth defeat of the tournament that left them languishing ninth in the 10-team table.
While Pakistan's slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages stayed alive, South Africa, with three points from their opening seven matches, are unable to secure a spot in the top four - who all advance to the semi-finals.
“The biggest down side is we are not doing ourselves justice as team. We are not playing the cricket we are capable of and that is extremely disappointing," Du Plessis said.
Pakistan got off to a flying start with openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq hammering 29 off the first four overs, against a South Africa side who looked visibly dejected in the face of the early onslaught.
Yet the bleeding was stemmed as South Africa steadied and with the run-rate under control they began to threaten, as both openers departed for 44 to Imran Tahir while Aiden Markram claimed the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez for 20.
Azam picked up the pace with 69 off 80 balls before he was caught off the bowling of Andile Phehlukwayo to leave Pakistan on 224-4. Sohail took it up a notch adding 71 runs along with Imad Wasim for the fifth wicket.
Wasim made 23 before he was caught trying to whack Lungi Ngidi over the rope, and Sohail helped Pakistan past 300 before his innings ended when he was caught by Quinton de Kock off Ngidi in the final over.
Sohail had not played in the World Cup since Pakistan's opening-match defeat to West Indies but fully justified his recall.
"Haris Sohail came in, he was hungry to play in the match and the way he batted was a turning point. You see (England's) Jos Buttler play that type of innings so the way he played was fantastic," Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said.
South Africa's chase got off to a woeful start as Hashim Amla was out lbw for two to Mohammad Amir in the second over and while De Kock and Du Plessis restored some order, they quickly fell behind the required run rate.
They added 87 runs for the second wicket before De Kock holed out in the deep on 47 off the bowling of Khan, who then bowled Markram for seven, leaving South Africa on 103 for 3 after 23.1 overs.
Their task became even harder when Du Plessis tried smashing Amir out of the ground but only succeeded in lofting the ball straight up in the air to give wicket-keeper Sarfaraz an easy catch and the bowler a 15th wicket of the tournament, the joint highest alongside England's Jofra Archer and Australia's Mitchell Starc.
A series of dropped or missed catches kept South African hopes briefly alive, but the wickets soon began to fall without a significant mark being left on the scoreboard.
Phehlukwayo (46 not out) hung around until the death, but starts were frittered away with regularity as Rassie van der Dussen (36), David Miller (31) and Chris Morris (16) came and went before the tail was mopped up in the final few overs.
South Africa in some trouble
De Kock was sent back by Shadab Khan on 47, just as he was about reach his half century. Aiden Markram had a short stay in the middle as he was also bowled out by Shadab Khan.
However, Mohammad Amir came back after sometime to send the main man, skipper Faf Du Plessis back to pavillion as du Plussis went for the heave over midwicket, but only edged it. Went an absolute country mile in the air, and Sarfaraz lay patiently in wait for it.
F du Plessis c †Sarfaraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 63 (79b 5x4 0x6) SR: 79.74
Building a partnership
Pakistan bowlers have been excellent to control the scoring rate of the South Africans. Intially given not out, Hashim Amla lost his wicket to Mohammad Amir as Pakistan made a successful review. Boundaries have been hard to come as Faf Du Plesis and Quinton De Kock knocked around the ball taking singles and doubles to build a partnership.
Pakistan scored 308 runs at the end of their innings.
Haris Sohail boosted Pakistan's bid to avoid World Cup elimination with a blistering 89 in his side's 308 for seven against fellow strugglers South Africa on Sunday.
Sohail was making just his second appearance at this year's World Cup and his dashing display at Lord's suggested he should have been involved more often.
The 30-year-old, dropped following Pakistan's opener against the West Indies, made up for lost time as he demolished South Africa's beleaguered bowlers.
Hitting nine fours and three sixes in his 59-ball blitz, Sohail gave Pakistan a shot of adrenaline after Babar Azam's more sedate 69 laid the foundations.
With only one win apiece, Pakistan and South Africa both need a victory to keep alive their slender hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals via a top-four finish in the 10-team group stage.
Beaten by bitter rivals India in their last match, Pakistan's players spent the past week involved in a series of spats with frustrated fans both in person and on social media.
After Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat first, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq lifted morale with a stand of 81 for the first wicket
Zaman slapped Kagiso Rabada's second ball of the match through the covers for a tone-setting four.
The green-shirt-clad Pakistan fans who made up the majority of the crowd were on their feet cheering when Zaman's effortless six off Lungi Ngidi made it 44-0 from the first six overs.
Zaman had a narrow escape when he slogged Chris Morris to Imran Tahir, who claimed he made the catch after running in from the boundary.
The umpires asked for a review that showed the Pakistan-born South African's fingers were not under the ball as it hit the turf.
Tahir was booed by Pakistan fans when he came on to bowl, but the leg-spinner got his revenge when Zaman attempted a bizarre scooped shot that saw him caught in the slips by Hashim Amla on 44.
Not surprisingly, Tahir's trademark celebration sprint around the pitch seemed a little more vigorous than usual.
Tahir was just getting warmed up and he produced a sublime catch off his own bowling to dismiss Imam for 44.
Lunging low to pluck the ball just before it hit the ground, Tahir was ecstatic as he blew kisses to his detractors in the crowd.
Tahir's 39th World Cup scalp made him South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
Mohammad Hafeez departed for 20, lbw to Aiden Markram, to leave Pakistan 143-3 in the 30th over.
That brought Sohail to the crease and his aggression, including a four and a six from successive Rabada deliveries, restored Pakistan's momentum.
Babar stepped on the gas as he went past 50, but he holed out to Ngidi on the boundary off Andile Phehlukwayo to end an 80-ball innings featuring seven fours.
Sohail smashed a four to reach his 50 in 38 balls and saw Pakistan through to the last over before mistiming a pull off Ngidi.
After a bright opening stand between openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haqq, Porteas leg spinner Imran Tahir removed both openers after Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat first at Lord's today.
Both Fakhar and Imam fell for 44. Tahir struck in his very first over when Fakhar played a premediated scoop only to fall prey to an easy catch taken by man at first slip. Tahir the dove to his right off his own bowling to take the scalp of Imam. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez took Pakistan to 149 with a 51-run partnership for the third wicket before the latter fell to Aiden Markram.
Pakistan win toss and bat first
Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bat first in their must-win game against South Africa at Lord's today.
This is a must-win game for both teams. Both have three points, and although Pakistan have played five games against South Africa's six, a defeat for either team would definitely be the end of the road in this World Cup. A win would keep them alive, but only just.
Pakistan have made two changes to their team. Shoaib Malik and Hasan Ali miss today's game, replaced by Haris Sohail and Shaheen Afridi. South Africa go with an unchnged XI.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock(wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis(c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi
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