You couldn’t keep him out of the game today. Shadab Khan was all over the field as his crucial contributions marked the end of South Africa’s qualification party tonight.
Openers fail yet again for Pakistan
Babar won the coin toss and chose to bat first. The two players that were feared before the tournament are now struggling to score, with both Rizwan and Babar failing yet again. Rizwan was out in the opening over of the match, while Babar took 15 balls to score 6.
Muhammad Harris, their new number three batter, took the pacers to the cleaners from the outset. His blazing score of 28 put the South African pacers on the defensive and sent a message about his fearlessness.
Pakistan were at 43 for the loss of three wickets at one point, virtually eliminating their chances of qualifying.
Iftikhar continues his good form, Shadab joins the party
When the going gets tough, the tough get going, as the saying goes. Iftikhar, who has consistently been their crisis leader, stemmed the collapse and held one end. His tenacity ensured that they didn’t lose any more wickets since his acceleration game would compensate for his poor start.
In the thirteenth over, Shadab Khan, the vice-captain, took over for Nawaz. Then there was carnage.
Shadab had previously been entrusted with the bat, and tonight he repaid the trust with a game-defining, if not tournament-deciding, half-century. His 22-ball 52, which included three fours and four sixes, shifted the momentum. Pakistan finished with 185 after half-centuries from Shabab and Iftikhar. Nortje finished with a four-fer.
A Shaky start yet again for South Africa
South Africa, like Pakistan, failed to capitalise on their powerplay opportunities. They were at 48 for the loss of two when they lost both QDK and Rillie. Following the sudden influx of wickers, Makram and Temba began sewing a partnership.
Shadab Khan sent Temba off his first ball, just when he appeared to be rediscovering his form. Markram was castled by a fairly straight ball in that same over, as Shadab’s double strike proved decisive.
Rain haunts South Africa
Raining on South Africa at an ICC tournament is analogous to saying the sky is blue. You can’t get away from it, no matter how much you try.
The DLS entered the equation, dropping it to 73 off the last five. Stubbs and Klaesan tried, but it was too much for Them to bear.