@the_topspin 2 minute read
Haris Sohail struck a quickfire 89 before the bowlers turned it on against a low on confidence South Africa at Lord’s, to keep Pakistan just about in the hunt for the semi-finals at the 2019 World Cup. Here’s Lawrence Booth’s report from the 2020 Wisden Almanack.
Pakistan v South Africa
Match 30, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
June 23, 2019
A grey day at Lord’s, staging its first game of the tournament, was brightened by the greenery of Pakistan’s fans and the batting of Haris Sohail. Dropped after his side’s opening-game mauling by West Indies, he conjured a delightful 89 from 59 balls, before the Pakistan attack – inspired by two left-armers and a leg-spinner – kept them in the hunt, just, for the semi-finals.
For South Africa, a fifth defeat really did mean curtains; Faf du Plessis, searching for the mot juste, settled on “embarrassing”. Five of his team passed 30, but none could better his 63, ended by the vibrant Mohammad Amir, who had removed Amla with his first ball and whose first seven overs yielded two for 19.
Shadab Khan’s leg-breaks troubled the middle order, before Wahab Riaz hit the tailenders’ stumps – a prudent option, since Pakistan dropped six catches (three by Amir).
After Sarfraz Ahmed had bravely chosen to bat, the openers each contributed 44, while Babar Azam compiled an unruffled 69. But Haris stole the show, on-driving Rabada for four, then carving his next ball into the Grand Stand for a six.
Earlier, the sight of du Plessis arguing with the umpires over their soft signal of not out after Imran Tahir claimed a catch in the deep off Fakhar Zaman summed up South Africa’s World Cup: frustrating, fractious and entirely fruitless.
First published in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack