Aiden Markram delivered a strong performance, scoring 91 runs, and when South Africa reached 206-4, they seemed well on their way to comfortably chasing down the 271-run target.
However, the responsibility to score the final 11 runs fell to the last pair, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. Shamsi had a nerve-wracking moment when a leg-before appeal by fast bowler Haris Rauf was referred to the umpire’s decision, and he survived with just eight runs needed.
This critical incident occurred on the final ball of the 46th over. Shamsi was struck on the front pad by Rauf’s delivery. The on-field umpire initially ruled it not out, prompting Pakistan to request a review.
Ball tracking analysis showed that the ball would have just brushed the leg stump, resulting in the umpire’s call on the wicket. Shamsi remained not out as the field umpire’s decision favored him.
Failing to secure a wicket despite coming incredibly close, the Pakistan players, with Haris Rauf notably affected, were left in a state of heartbreak. The video capturing the Pakistani players’ emotional response has become widely popular on social media.
You can watch the video here:
Pakistan might have won the game against South Africa if the crucial decision had been in their favour
Maharaj secured the victory with a boundary, smashing a four off the bowling of Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz towards the square-leg boundary on the second delivery of the 48th over.
“Really happy, you play enough cricket to know sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it doesn’t,” said Shamsi who finished on four runs.
Maharaj, who remained unbeaten at seven runs, also contributed 10 runs for the ninth wicket alongside Lungi Ngidi, who scored four. However, Rauf executed a remarkable catch off his own bowling to dismiss Ngidi.
This victory propelled South Africa to the top of the table with 10 points, having won five out of six matches. In contrast, Pakistan has experienced four consecutive losses after initially opening the tournament with two consecutive wins.
With only four points, they’ll have to rely on favorable outcomes in other matches to have a chance at making it to the semi-finals.
“We had a very close fight and fought very well. As we had an opportunity to win this match but we missed it,” said Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.
“We will try our best in our next three matches.”
This was only the seventh time a team won a match by just one wicket in all World Cups, and it was the second time South Africa did it.