Sports, Cricket, Front Page

Pakistan throw a mounting challenge

Published : 23 Jun 2019 08:56 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 06:59 AM

Pakistan showed their might by scoring a huge run total of 308 driving the South Africans to set fresh strategies in achieving a possible victory. Haris Sohail was their hero who steered an 89 runs in 59 balls with 9 fours and 3 sixes to the total. The South African bowling attack were not good enough as Pakistan posted 308/7 from their 50 overs. Haris Sohail (89 off 59) and Babar Azam (69 off 80) lead the way for Pakistan. South African skipper Faf du Plessis was happy to lose the toss, acknowledging that he would have bowled first anyway.

He would have expected far better than what he got, however, which was a fast bowling performance that did nothing to suggest that the Proteas should be playoff contenders in this tournament. Kagiso Rabada (0/65 in 10) another sub-standard display with the new ball. Where Lungi Ngidi (3/64 in 9) was far too full with his lengths in his opening spell.

Chris Morris (0/61 in 9) and Andile Phehlukwayo (1/49 in 8) couldn't get the breakthrough either, and it eventually came through Imran Tahir (2/41 in 10) when he had Fakhar Zaman (44 off 50) gobbled up by Hashim Amla at slip after the batsman had tried a premeditated paddle. Tahir then pulled off a superb catch off his own bowling, diving to his right to get rid of Imam-ul-Haq (44 off 58) as the Proteas fought back to 98/2. There was then a 45-run stand for third wicket between Babar and Mohammad Hafeez (20 off 33) before part-timer Aiden Markram (1/22 in 4) had a sweeping Hafeez out LBW.

When Babar and Sohail started to take control, the Proteas would have to wait until the 42nd over before one of their seamers took a wicket. Phehlukwayo had a swinging Azam caught by Ngidi on the mid-wicket fence. When Babar left, Sohail turned it on and began dispatching the Proteas bowlers to all corners of Lord's. It was an attacking innings of the highest quality, with his shot making ability resulting in runs everywhere and against everyone.

Imad Wasim smashed 23 off 15 before he hit Ngidi to long-on, then he had shared a 71-run stand with Sohail that had lasted just 40 deliveries. Ngidi bowled Wahab Riaz (4 off 4) and had Sohail caught by Quinton de Kock to finish strong in the final over.