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Home » ODI World Cup Digest: Pakistan Keep Semi Hopes Alive; South Africa and New Zealand Face Off

ODI World Cup Digest: Pakistan Keep Semi Hopes Alive; South Africa and New Zealand Face Off

by Kit West
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Pakistan 205 for 3 (Fakhar 81, Shafique 68, Mehidy 3-60) beat Bangladesh 204 (Mahmudullah 56, Litton 45, Shakib 43, Afridi 3-23, Wasim 3-31) by seven wickets

Pakistan put in their most convincing performance of the World Cup to end their longest World Cup losing run, trouncing a dismal Bangladesh by seven wickets and keeping their faint hopes of semi-final qualification alive.

The win was set up by a commanding performance from Shaheen Shah Afridi – now the fastest to 100 ODI wickets for quick bowlers and the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup – to dismiss Bangladesh for 204. Fakhar Zaman, freshly recalled to the side, then turned in his best showing in months, a vintage 74-ball 81 that set Pakistan up for a win that gave both their confidence and net run-rate a shot in the arm.

Shaheen Shah Afridi has probably not been among the best bowlers at the World Cup. Yet, he is the joint-highest wicket-taker, going at an acceptable 5.22 an over and taking a wicket every 23 balls.

It is an achievement more remarkable than it looks. Firstly, because it is easier to isolate a bowler in a one-man show than a batter.

A batter can still bat through an innings even if the others have not turned up; a bowler gets to bowl only ten overs and the batters can sit on them if they know others are not in form. Rashid Khan, for example, knows that feeling, and has to consistently fight for success.

Match preview

New Zealand vs South Africa, Pune (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 7.30pm AEDT)

It started with a World Cup quarter-final that turned into a proper scrap in Mirpur in 2011. It marked the arrival of a cricket rivalry that isn’t talked about a lot, but often gives us games that ain’t good for the heart – just like the rugby World Cup final from a few nights ago.

Auckland 2015 and Birmingham 2019, the two most recent men’s ODI World Cup fixtures since the rivalry sprung to life, were both thrillers of different kinds. One a semi-final with everything on the line, and the other a league fixture, like Wednesday’s will be. This one will dictate how the top half of the points table shapes up heading into the last bit of the league stage.

Source: ESPN Crincinfo

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