Pakistan’s pace bowlers stunned South Africa to earn a thrilling 29-run World Cup win in Auckland.
World Cup Pool B, Eden Park, Auckland: Pakistan 222 (46.4): Misbah-ul-Haq 56; Steyn 3-30 South Africa 202 (33.3): De Villiers 77; Rahat Ali 3-40, Riaz 3-45, Irfan 3-52 Pakistan won by 29 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method)
Chasing 232 in Auckland, South Africa were well placed on 67-1, before Pakistan’s left-arm trio got to work.
Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Irfan dismissed the Proteas for 202, despite captain AB de Villiers’ 77.
Pakistan had earlier scraped to 222, with South Africa’s target adjusted after rain reduced the match to 47 overs per side.
The victory, a third in succession, means Pakistan will definitely reach the quarter-finals if they beat Ireland in their final Pool B game on 15 March.
Even if they lose in Adelaide, Misbah-ul-Haq’s side will have a chance of progressing on net run-rate depending on other results involving the Irish, who beat Zimbabwe in a thrilling game on Saturday, and West Indies.
For South Africa, a first opportunity to reach the last eight was missed, but their qualification will be assured with a win against the UAE on Thursday.
They arrived at Eden Park on the back of consecutive scores in excess of 400 but, like their earlier defeat by India, wilted when faced with the pressure of a run-chase.
De Villiers attempted a single-handed pursuit as the rest of his team failed to deal with the pace and bounce of the Pakistan attack.