Pakistan maintained their tenuous chances of making it to the T20 World Cup semifinals with a 33-run victory against South Africa in a rain-delayed super 12 match.
On Thursday, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan’s remarkable half-centuries helped Pakistan, who was on the verge of collapse after 43-4 early in their innings.
Shaheen Afridi (3-14) took two early wickets, and Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram who had formed a promising 49-run third-wicket partnership were quickly dismissed by Shadab.
Despite the defeat, the Proteas are still second in Group 2 behind India and can clinch one of the two semifinal spots if they defeat the Netherlands in their final Super 12 game on Sunday.
Pakistan must defeat Bangladesh in Sunday’s second game at Adelaide Oval to have any chance of moving on, and they must also pray that either the Dutch pull off an upset or Zimbabwe manages to surprise India in the last group game in Melbourne.
However, Mohammad Haris had already set the tone for his teammates with a scorching 28 off 11 balls that began with two sixes and a four after joining the squad as an injury substitute for Fakhar Zaman.
After the rain break, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, and Naseem Shah successfully restrained the South Africans while hammering away consistent wickets.