Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan’s spectacular fifties rescued Pakistan out of the doldrums as they struck 185/9 after being 43/4 in their Super 12 match against South Africa at the SCG in Sydney on Thursday.
Master Class from Mohammad Haris
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Pakistan appeared to be in big danger after being reduced to 43/4 in just seven overs. Mohammad Haris provided some entertainment at the top of the order with his 11-ball knock of 28, but Babar Azam (6), Mohammad Rizwan (4), and Shan Masood were all bowled cheaply, leaving the bottom middle-order with a lot of catching up to do.
Master Class from Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan
But Iftikhar Ahmed stepped up, first putting on a 52-run stand with Mohammad Nawaz and then another 82-run stand for the sixth wicket with Shadab Khan to help Pakistan to a total of 185/9, which seemed impossible at one time. Iftikhar struck 51 from 35 deliveries, but Shadab made the difference by walking in and smashing 52 from only 22 deliveries, including three fours and four sixes.
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Because of the efforts of Iftikhar and Shadab, Pakistan has a chance to go to the semi-finals. A huge win here can greatly enhance their NRR while also earning them important two points. Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan get Pakistan’s total over the line.
Captain’s Point of View on Toss
Temba Bavuma – We would have also batted first. The wicket appears to be a little dry, although there is some green. Batting first gives us an edge, but we must restrict them to a modest total and then chase well. We have a terrific group of guys who have given us a lot of support and confidence. We have two changes, one of which is unavoidable due to David Miller’s injury; Heinrich Klaasen replaces him. Tabraiz Shamsi has been appointed in lieu of Keshav Maharaj.
Babar Azam – We will bat because we want to get runs and then put them under pressure in the chase. We shall do our best and then go on. One change for us: Fakhar Zaman has been replaced by Mohammad Haris.