In an electrifying encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, South Africa pulled off a thrilling victory over Pakistan by a mere one wicket during the 26th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The match, which took place on Friday, October 27, showcased a display of remarkable cricketing skills.
Pakistan, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, faced a formidable South African bowling attack. The openers, Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq, struggled to find their footing, with both being dismissed early by Marco Jansen. This left Pakistan at a precarious 38/2 after just 6.3 overs. However, Captain Babar Azam (50 off 65) played a crucial role in stabilizing the innings, recording his third half-century of the tournament. Yet, once again, he couldn’t convert it into a substantial score and was dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi.
Aiden Markram played a terrific jumping shot in the morning 13th over of the innings that stunned the commentators, and cricketing fans.
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Saud Shakeel (52 off 52) and Shadab Khan (43 off 36) formed an impressive partnership, contributing 84 runs for the sixth wicket and guiding Pakistan beyond the 220-run mark. Despite their efforts, Pakistan was unable to bat through the entire 50 overs and were bowled out for 270 in 46.4 overs.
In response, South Africa faced early setbacks as Quinton de Kock (24 off 14) and Temba Bavuma (28 off 27) fell cheaply. The Proteas’ innings, however, was anchored by Aiden Markram, who delivered a magnificent performance, scoring 91 runs from 93 balls with seven boundaries and three sixes. His stunning shot over third man, launching Haris Rauf’s bouncer for a maximum, emerged as a contender for the shot of the tournament.
After Markram’s dismissal in the 41st over, South Africa found themselves at 250/8, requiring another 21 runs for victory. Keshav Maharaj (7* off 21) and Tabraiz Shamsi (4* off 6) showed nerves of steel and guided their team to a remarkable win in 47.2 overs. This victory took South Africa to the top of the World Cup table with 10 points from five wins in six matches, while Pakistan, who had started the tournament with back-to-back wins, suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, holding four points and relying on other match outcomes to reach the semi-finals. The match will be remembered for its intensity and thrilling moments, making it a standout fixture in the tournament.