Pakistan defeated South Africa by 49 runs to keep their hopes alive in the ICC World Cup 2019 at the Lord’s on Sunday. Also, with the defeat South Africa have lost all their chances to make it to the semi-finals of the showpiece event.

Batting first Pakistan posted a challenging total of 308 after Haris Sohail and Babar Azam scored 89 and 69 to help their team’s cause. The opening duo of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq gave Pakistan a steady start as they put on 81 for the first wicket.

But then lost three batsmen in quick intervals as Imran Tahir struck with two wickets. The spinner with these two wickets became South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in World Cup history, surpassing Allan Donald’s record of 38 wickets.

Azam and Sohail then anchored the innings and scripted a partnership of 81. With Azam’s departure in the 42nd over, Sohail was joined by Imad Wasim. Both of them played their shots freely to lift the run-rate to a major extent and take Pakistan to a total of above 300. Sohail was the star of the innings and made a solid comeback into the team.

Chasing 309, South Africa were never in the game as they lost opener Hashim Amla in the second over. Mohammad Amir, continuing his purple patch in the tournament, struck in his first over as he trapped Amla for an LBW.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinto de Kock tried to give the innings some stability but failed to cope up with the run-rate and eventually failed to give the much-needed impetus to their scoring. Shadab Khan provided the breakthrough for Pakistan when De Kock holed out near the boundary off his bowling in the 20th over.

In the meantime, South Africa were given a fair amount of chances as Pakistan dropped few catches. That allowed David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen to add 51 runs together. But, it was a task too tough for them as Wahab Riaz started swinging the old ball and notched three South African wickets in the end.

With this defeat, South Africa have left themselves no chance to qualify for the semi-finals. It will be the second time in the history of South Africa’s cricket that they will not feature in the knock-outs of World Cup. The first time was in 2003 when they hosted the tournament but departed from the group stages.

Brief scores

Pakistan: 308/7, Haris Sohail 89 (59), Babar Azam 69 (80); Lungi Ngidi 3/64
South Africa: 259/5, Faf du Plessis 63 (79), Quinton de Kock 47 (60); Wahab Riaz 3/46