Pakistan causes major upset at ICC Champions Trophy by beating South Africa

In a desperate attempt to stay alive in the tournament, Pakistan will be locking horns with South Africa in the Group B clash of ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The largely unforced errors that accounted for Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers, turned a tidy start from Pakistan's bowlers into a sensational one, the first ball duck suffered by de Villiers, who sliced a loose drive off Imad Wasim's left-arm spin to backward point, the first of his global career.

For South Africa, Morne Morkel bowled a fiery spell of seven overs where he grabbed three wickets and continuously troubled the Pakistan batsman.

David Miller's 75 not out from 104 balls was a rare bright spot for South Africa, winners over Sri Lanka in their opener, having earlier been shackled by spin before seamer Hasan Ali impressed by taking three middle-order wickets.

Imad and Hafeez, despite neither offering appreciable turn, had proved hard to get away and South Africa's situation worsened when Hasan, like Imad, took a wicket with his second ball when Faf du Plessis chopped onto his stumps.

But Babar Azam (31 not out) and Shoaib Malik (16 not out) took Pakistan to 119 for three off 27 overs when heavy rain stopped play at 7:41 pm. And all so very South Africa. "If they are caught in two minds, the South African fielders will surely make life tougher for them".

And so, Pakistan and South Africa met at Edgbaston for what appeared to be a mismatch of two teams at the opposing ends of their abilities to win games. A brilliant delivery then sent Wayne Parnell's stumps flying, reducing the Proteas to 118-6.

He returned to bounce out Hafeez (26) but received virtually no support as Pakistan (119/3) got ahead of the rate when the rain came.

"We had a good bowling meeting (on Tuesday)", added Sarfraz, who saw his attack rebound after India smashed 72 from the final four overs of its innings on Sunday. The manner in which the proverbial wheels came off the Pakistan bowling and batting would have shamed many a fan but sadly this is the true reality of Pakistan cricket. We played good, and won our first game in the tournament.

In reply, the debutant Fakhar Zaman went on the attack from the outset.

"When I got on the field, I said to myself this is really an opportunity for me to stand up and unfortunately it wasn't meant to be". "Pakistan played better than us and it had absolutely nothing to do with complacency as far as I'm concerned". "We know what is required now against India and we'll have to up our game to get past them". Most of the questions were related to how and when his team would be able to recover from the seemingly never-ending slump in form that it was going through at the moment.

Pakistan face Sri Lanka in their final group game in Cardiff on Monday, with top-ranked ODI side South Africa up against India at The Oval a day earlier.

  • Zachary Reyes