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Pakistan Suffer Another World Cup Defeat as South Africa Clinch Thriller

Pakistan’s dismal campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 continued as they lost to South Africa by one wicket in a tense match at Chennai on Friday. The defeat was Pakistan’s fourth in six games, leaving them at number six of the points table with four points.

Pakistan, who won the toss and opted to bat first, were bowled out for 270 in 46.4 overs, despite half-centuries from Babar Azam and Saud Shakeel. South Africa’s spinners, led by Tabraiz Shamsi, who took four wickets for 60 runs, put the brakes on Pakistan’s innings after a promising start. Shamsi was well supported by Gerald Coetzee and Marco Jansen, who picked up two wickets each.

South Africa’s chase got off to a brisk start, with Quinton de Kock smashing 24 off 14 balls before falling to Shaheen Afridi. Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen then added 50 runs for the second wicket, before both fell in quick succession. Aiden Markram then took charge of the innings, scoring a fluent 91 off 93 balls, with seven fours and three sixes. He shared a 64-run stand with David Miller, who made 29 off 33 balls.

However, Pakistan fought back with regular wickets, as Mohammad Wasim Jr and Usama Mir took two wickets each, while Afridi returned to dismiss Markram in the 43rd over. South Africa needed 28 runs off the last four overs, with three wickets in hand. Jansen then added 20 runs in 14 balls and Coetzee 10 runs in 13 balls.

The match went down to the wire, with South Africa needing eight runs off the last three overs, with one wicket left. Keshav Maharaj and Shamsi then held their nerve, scoring seven runs off the next two overs. Maharaj then hit the winning boundary off the second ball of the 48th over, sparking celebrations in the South African camp.

Shamsi was named the player of the match for his tremendous performance, as he also scored four runs off six balls at the end. South Africa registered their fifth win in six games, moving up to the first spot in the points table with ten points. Pakistan will face New Zealand in their next match on October 31 at Kolkata, while South Africa will take on Afghanistan on November 1 at Mumbai.

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