A brave Pakistani side today played their skin out to beat might South Africa by 29 runs to put its World cup campaign back on track at Hobart.
Put into bat, Pakistan scored 222 runs in a rain-curtained 47 overs match. Dependable Misbah-ul-Haq’s scored 56 and Sarfraz Ahmed scored 49 to post a fighting total on the board.
Chasing a revised 232-run target, Proteas fell apart in the first over, when De Kock was removed by Mohammad Irfan. Skipper AB de Villiers’ valiant 77 went in vain on a lively Eden park track.
Pace spearhead Mohammad Irfan, left-arm pacers Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz bagged three wickets each. New-ball bowler Sohail Khan got the all-important wicket of de Villiers in the 33rd over to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive in the mega event.
South Africa were in neck deep trouble at 138 for seven, before de Villiers stuck to his guns, forming crucial partnerships with Dale Steyn , Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel for the seventh, eight and ninth wickets respectively.
The pace trio got the crucial breakthroughs at regular intervals to enable Pakistan register their third win in five games and rise to third spot in the table led by India.
(With PTI inputs)