Pakistan bowlers deliver, restrict South Africa to 219 for 8

Pakistan bowlers deliver, restrict South Africa to 219 for 8

Pakistan bowlers deliver, restrict South Africa to 219 for 8

Faced with a do-or-die situation, a fired up Pakistan produced an inspiring bowling show to restrict South Africa to a modest 219 for eight in a crucial Group B ICC Champions Trophy match, here today.

After an embarrassing defeat against India, Pakistan bowlers bowled their hearts out after South Africa elected to bat at Edgbaston, which had a slightly slow wicket.

The spinners choked the Proteas in the beginning with three strikes and later the pacemen pulled the rug from under South Africa's feet with fiery spells.

Had it not been for a fighting knock from David Miller (75 not out) and his timely 47-run stand with Chris Morris (28) for the seventh wicket, the Proteas would have even struggled to get close to 200-run mark.

It was Miller's slowest fifty in ODI cricket as he took 83 balls to complete it but it came at a crucial time for his side. Miller's 79-run knock had only four boundaries.

Miller also found some good support from Kagiso Rabada, who came up with a 26-run knock as the they added 48 runs for the eight wicket.

These two partnerships after South Africa were struggling at 118 for six, propped up the Proteas innings.

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim took two wickets upfront while Hasan Ali (3/18) wiped off the middle order in a sensational three-wicket burst that turned the tide in the favour of Pakistan, who need to win this match to stay alive.

Pacers Mohammed Amir and Junaid Khan (2/53) did not take many wickets but peppered the South Africans with well- calculated yorkers to further choke them.

Pakistan spinners proved very effective early in the South African innings with Wasim (2/20) and Mohammed Hafeez (1/51) cleaning up the top-order within 15 overs.

Wasim, introduced in the ninth over, struck with his second ball to break the steady opening stand. He trapped consistent Hashim Amla (16) and then handed skipper AB De Villiers (0) his first ever golden duck in the One-Day format.

De Villiers flashed hard at one but hit straight to point where Hafeez took a simple catch. Mohammed Hafeez sent back well-set Quinton de Kock (33), who used his feet very well before attempting a sweep and was caught in front of the wicket.

Together, they bowled 14 overs in tandem, not giving many free runs to the Proteas batsmen. Faf du Plessis (26) and David Miller had to work hard to keep the scoreboard ticking but they could not build a big partnership as paceman Hasan Ali came out to ball and removed the former with the second ball of his spell.

Ali pitched it slightly outside off, du Plessis went for a drive but dragged it back onto his stumps. It left South Africa reeling at 90 for four in 22.2 overs.

The paceman wreaked havoc a few overs later when he sent back JP Duminy (8) and Wayne Parnell (0) in successive balls. Duminy chased a widish delivery and ended up caught in slip by Babar Azam while a faster one crashed through the defence of Parnell.

The wickets meant South Africa were in tatters, 118 for six, putting Pakistan on top in the contest. Miller and Morris repaired the innings a bit before Junaid Khan broke their stand.

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