Pakistan played contrary to expectations in the 2011 World Cup and reached the semi-finals on the back of their determined performance. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, however, Pakistan were being regarded as one of the four favourite teams to reach the semis. And again, they played against the expectations as they are likely to become the first team to get out of the tournament. South Africa revenged the loss against Pakistan in the warm-up match, giving Misbah XI 67-run defeat. Barring captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Nasir Jamshed Pakistan batting line-up miserably failed once again, giving away the victory to the opponents.

[caption id="attachment_1497" align="alignright" width="300"]The photo aptly depicts Pakistan’s vulnerable batting in the match (Photo: AFP) The photo aptly depicts Pakistan’s vulnerable batting in the match (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

A large number of Pakistan spectators had gathered at Birmingham to watch the contest, giving their team a home-like atmosphere, but few were the occasions when they felt ecstatic. Knowing Pakistan’s Achilles heel of failing to chase targets, South Africa decided to go for batting after winning the toss. The Proteas set up a slow but strong base upon which a big target could be built, but Pakistani bowlers restricted them to 234. South Africa, who at one stage were 122 for one, could only add 112 more runs for eight wickets.

However, South Africa’s start was way better than their opponents. Hashim Amla and Colin Ingram laid the foundations with a 53-run opening stand. After Ingram was dismissed lbw by Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan missed a crucial chance to take control of the match when Umar Amin dropped Amla’s catch. Amla later made most runs for South Africa, playing a pivotal role in the team’s win. Although Amla deserved a century for his performance, he was dismissed by Saeed Ajmal after making 81 off 97.

Pakistan bowlers gripped the match after that and controlled the flow of runs, taking crucial wickets. AB de Villiers and Jean-Paul Duminy were run out, while aggressive David Miller and Ryan McLaren were also restricted to 19 and four runs, respectively. Debutant Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso were also run out as the Proteas managed to set a 235-run target in 50 overs, with nine wickets fallen.

The score seemed insufficient for South Africa, given the absence of Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn. But they were unaware of the fragile batting line-up of Pakistan.

Morris took the maiden of wicket in his career’s first over, and match’s second over, sending Imran Farhat packing. Overoptimistic fans were pinning their hopes on Misbah and Nasir Jamshed, but Pakistan did not seem to recover after suffering irreparable losses in the form of Hafeez and Shoaib Malik’s dismissals. Jamshed shared his bit by scoring 42, but failed to give what Pakistan needed at the stage. Misbah scored 55 and left the ground when the side needed another 87 run win. Later, whole team razed to 167 in the 45th over.

[caption id="attachment_1498" align="alignright" width="166"]Misbah yet again. The captain tried in vain to achieve the target, once more (Photo: Getty Images) Misbah yet again. The captain tried in vain to achieve the target, once more (Photo: Getty Images)[/caption]

McLaren bowled brilliantly, giving just 19 runs in eight over and taking four wickets. Morris and Lonwabo Tsotsobe took two wickets apiece, while Phangiso and Duminy each took one. Amla was declared the man of the match.

With this defeat, Pakistan’s chances to reach the semi-finals have almost finished. The only way out is that if West Indies win both of their upcoming matches against India and South Africa, and Pakistan beat India on June 15 by a heavy margin. But given the current circumstances it is highly unlikely.

Pakistan’s batting had been considered as weak before the beginning of the event, but nobody could have imagined it was so fragile that it could only make 337 runs in two matches. Pakistan’s batting line-up seems to on the wane and it is unfortunate that they did not learn a thing in the national training camp held in Abbottabad under the supervision of Javed Miandad. Moreover, the services of Trent Woodhill as the team’s coach also went in vain.

South Africa vs Pakistan

Champions Trophy 2013, Match 5

June 10, 2013

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Result: SA won by 67 runs

Man of the match: Hashim Amla

جنوبی افریقہRunsBalls4s6s
Colin Ingramlbw b Mohammad Hafeez204520
Hashim Amlac Mohammad Hafeez b Saeed Ajmal819790
Faf du Plessisc Shoaib Malik b Mohammad Irfan284020
AB de Villiersrun out (Misbah-ul-Haq)313111
Jean-Paul Duminyrun out (Misbah-ul-Haq)243810
David Millerc Misbah-ul-Haq b Junaid Khan192420
Ryan McLarenlbw b Shoaib Malik4800
Robin Petersonnot out11620
Chris Morrisrun out (Wahab Riaz)1200
Aaron Phangisorun out (†Kamran Akmal)0000
Extraslb 5, w 4, nb 1)10
Total(9 wickets; 50 overs)234


Pakistan (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
Mohammad Irfan71271
Junaid Khan80451
Mohammad Hafeez100381
wahab Riaz90500
Saeed Ajmal100421
Shoaib Malik60271


پاکستانtarget: 235 runsRunsBalls4s6s
Imran Farhatb Morris2900
Nasir Jamshedc & b Tsotsobe427640
Mohammad Hafeezc Miller b Morris72100
Shoaib Malikb Duminy82900
Misbah-ul-Haqc Amla b Tsotsobe557531
Umar Aminc Ingram b McLaren162910
Kamran Akmalc du Plessis b McLaren0200
Wahab Riazb Phangiso131220
Saeed Ajmalc Ingram b McLaren5510
Junaid Khanb McLaren41200
Mohammad Irfannot out0000
Extraslb 7, w 8)15
Total(all out; 45 overs)167


South Africa (bowling)OversMaidensRunsWickets
Lonwabo Tsotsobe91232
Chris Morris70252
Ryan McLaren83194
Aaron Phangiso100501
Jean-Paul Duminy70261
Robin Peterson40170
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