Chennai: South Africa registered their fourth consecutive win in the ODI World Cup 2023, as they chased down a target of 271 against Pakistan in a thrilling match at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. Aiden Markram played a superb knock of 91 off 93 balls and was well supported by the lower order, as the Proteas reached the target with one wicket and two balls remaining.
Earlier, Pakistan had elected to bat first after winning the toss, hoping to put up a big total on a good batting pitch. However, they lost their openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman cheaply, as Marco Jansen struck twice in his first spell. Jansen also removed Mohammad Rizwan for 18, leaving Pakistan at 64 for 3 in the 15th over. Captain Babar Azam then steadied the innings with a fluent half-century, his 16th in ODIs. He added 86 runs for the fourth wicket with Saud Shakeel, who scored his maiden ODI fifty. However, both of them fell in quick succession, as Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi broke the partnership. Pakistan was reduced to 170 for 6 in the 37th over when Shadab Khan came to the rescue. He played an aggressive innings of 43 off 32 balls, hitting four fours and two sixes. He was well supported by Hasan Ali, who scored 28 off 19 balls. The duo added 57 runs for the seventh wicket before both fell in the final overs. Pakistan managed to post a competitive total of 270 for 9 in their 50 overs, with Jansen taking 4 for 62 and Nortje taking 3 for 54.
South Africa’s chase got off to a shaky start, as they lost Quinton de Kock for a duck in the first over. Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma then added 42 runs for the second wicket, before Bavuma was dismissed for 17 by Hasan Ali. Markram continued to anchor the innings and reached his ninth ODI fifty. He was joined by Rassie van der Dussen, who scored a brisk 36 off 31 balls. The duo added 74 runs for the third wicket before van der Dussen was caught behind off Shadab Khan. South Africa suffered a middle-order collapse, as they lost Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Marco Jansen in quick succession.