ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Haris Sohail starred as Pakistan beat South Africa at Lords to keep their semi-final hopes alive. After the match, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was questioned by a Pakistan journalist about Haris Sohail’s fitness. It did not go down well with the coach who gave it back. Sohail scored 89 runs from 59 balls, his innings was laced with nine boundaries and three sixes. “Good, splendid knock from Haris but one thing was visible, he stepped in after 30th over, after spending 60-70 minutes, last over he could not make century as well… he had 3 wickets in hand,” the reporter explained to Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur.

“In the last 3 overs…you made only 20 runs, what is the problem?

“He looked exhausted,” he added.

Arthur lost it as he said, why don’t you write something positive.

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.

“It’s tough when you’re sitting out and waiting for your turn. My goal was to make the most of my opportunities. When I went in, I was told I have to build a partnership with Babar, but it wasn’t easy out there. Just backed myself,” said Sohail after bagging Man of the Match.

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