‘Outrageous’: T20 giants alive after utter ‘carnage’, cruel twist stings World Cup rival
Pakistan has kept its T20 World Cup campaign alive after a stunning fightback with the bat, and rain, dealt South Africa its first loss of the tournament.
The two nations played out one of the most entertaining innings of the World Cup in the first 20 overs with several twists and turns followed by a chaotic ending.
Having won the toss, Pakistan was in strife early as it collapsed to lose 4-43 after 6.4 overs.
Babar Azam’s side then mounted an unbelievable comeback, largely thanks to a 50-ball half century from Shadab Khan (52 off 22) and another half century from Iftikhar Ahmed (51 off 35).
The latter’s innings included a 106m six into the third tier of the SCG – the biggest hit during this year’s World Cup.
Nasser Hussain described the partnership as “carnage at the SCG” while Danny Morrison said it was “outrageous striking” from the duo.
The pair took Pakistan to 5-177 after 18.4 overs but there was another twist in the tale with the Proteas responding late.
Having endured a tough night in the field due to light drizzle, South Africa produced a team hat-trick and restricted Pakistan to 9-185.
Over the course of the final two overs, there were four wickets, two dropped catches, and two big sixes.
In reply, South Africa started strong through Temba Bavuma (36 off 19) and after seven overs was ahead of the DLS target.
That’s when Khan turned destroyer with the ball in a cruel twist for South Africa, dismissing Bavuma with his first ball, and then Aiden Markram (20 off 14) with his third to put Pakistan ahead.
Two overs later, the rain became too heavy and play was suspended for an hour.
That left South Africa needing to make a difficult 73 runs in five overs when play resumed.
South Africa came up well short, largely thanks to a death bowling masterclass from Naseem Shah, who only leaked two runs from the penultimate over.
South Africa lost by 33 runs under DLS, taking its record to 0-4 against Pakistan in T20 World Cups.
The win takes Pakistan to third in Group 2, one point behind South Africa and India.
Pakistan plays Bangladesh in its final match, South Africa plays the Netherlands, and India plays Zimbabwe.