In a heart-pounding match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, South Africa secured a thrilling 1-wicket win against Pakistan in the 26th match of the ODI World Cup 2023. Aiden Markram’s exceptional 91-run innings guided the Proteas to a nail-biting victory.
While speaking at the post-match presentation, Babar said that they were very close to clinching a win against the Proteas but they did not finish well.
He added that the pacers and the spinners fought well in the game but unfortunately, it was not to be.
The Pakistani captain further stated that they would try their best in the next 3 matches put in their efforts and play for Pakistan.
“We are very close, we did not finish well. Very disappointing for the whole team. We fought back very well. In the batting, we were 10-15 short. The fast bowlers and spinners fought well but unfortunately, it was not to be. It is part of the game, in DRS it is part of the game. Had he given it out, it would have favoured us.”
“We have an opportunity to win this and stay in the race but not to be. We will try our best in the next 3 matches put in our efforts and play for Pakistan. Let’s see where we will stand after that,” Babar Azam said.
Bavuma said that the players were on the edge of their seats during the last moment of the game.
He added that the team could have shown a lot more of a clinical display in going about that run chase.
“Probably not as calm at the moment. A little bit chaotic now with the guys jumping around. I think obviously at the end as well, we were all on the edge of our seats.”
“I think you had everyone’s opinions flying around as to how we should be going about that run chase. But at the end of the day, the guys who were in there, Keshav and Shamu, they did it for us. Look, it’s easier for us to have conversations now with regard to our run chase. We’ve got the result on our side.”
“I mean, I do think we could have shown up a lot more of a clinical display in going about that run chase. I think we did have luck on our side. We did give them opportunities to get into the game. But fortunately for us, I think the gods were with us.”
“But as I said, it’s easier for us to have those conversations regarding how probably regarding our blueprint and how we want to go about going about those run chases,”Bavuma said.
In the first inning, after winning the toss and electing to bat, Pakistan managed to score 270 runs. Their innings was marked by a valiant 52-run knock by Saud Shakeel and a crucial 50 by captain Babar Azam. Tabraiz Shamsi was the standout bowler for South Africa, claiming four wickets, while Marco Jansen and Gerald Coetzee picked up three and two wickets, respectively.
The Proteas’ run chase didn’t start smoothly, as Pakistani pacers Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr. dismissed early key wickets, including that of De Kock and Bavuma. However, Aiden Markram stood tall and anchored the innings with a brilliant 91-run performance. He received limited support from his teammates, with David Miller and Temba Bavuma contributing valuable runs.
Usama Mir and Shaheen Afridi were the standout bowlers for Pakistan, taking two wickets each. Mohammad Wasim Jr. also chipped in with two wickets. Despite the challenges, South Africa managed to edge closer to the target.
In the final moments of the game, with the tension at its peak, Maharaj’s crucial four over the backward square leg secured the win for South Africa, who reached the target with just one wicket in hand.
Shaheen Afridi was the standout bowler for Pakistan, securing three vital wickets and conceding 45 runs in his 10-over spell. Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr., and Usama Mir also contributed with two wickets each.
With this thrilling victory, South Africa has gained momentum in the ODI World Cup 2023, while Pakistan’s hopes have taken a hit. The tournament continues to provide intense and exciting cricket for fans worldwide.
- Pakistan: Saud Shakeel 52 (52), Babar Azam 50 (65), Shadab Khan 43 (36); Tabraiz Shamsi 4/60, Marco Jansen 3/43, Gerald Coetzee 2/42
- South Africa: Aiden Markram 91 (93), David Miller 29 (33), Temba Bavuma 28 (27); Shaheen Afridi 3/45, Usama Mir 2/45, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2/50.
The ODI World Cup 2023 continues to deliver thrilling contests, keeping cricket enthusiasts on the edge of their seats.
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