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CWC 2019 – Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

CWC 2019 – Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points. PAK vs SA: 5 key talking points from their World Cup 2019 match.

That’s it. With barely a wimper, South Africa are out of the 2019 World Cup. “Borderline embarrassing today” said Faf du Plessis, who didn’t hold back after another loss.

Not since 2003 have the Proteas exited the group stages of a World Cup. However, things could have been very different in that tournament, with close defeats, boycotts and D/L miscalculations all contributing to a very disappointing exit. Fast forward to now, and you have to scratch your head to remember when a higher-ranked ODI side surrendered so meekly in a campaign.

Let’s be real. South Africa were not one of the favourites to lift the trophy. However, their fans deserve better, subject to poor body language, execution and belief right throughout their campaign to date. The Proteas displayed some of the worst body language you’ll see towards the back end of Pakistan’s innings, making it very clear that this side was not chasing anything Pakistan put up on the board.

Here are five key talking points from the first CWC 2019 match at Lord’s, where Pakistan kept their tournament alive.

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1. Haris Sohail plays a gem

It easy to focus on South Africa. However, Haris Sohail deserves huge praise for his magnificent innings. After a fast start, Pakistan lost their way a little in the middle overs, in need of a shot of momentum to push the Proteas back onto the back foot.

Haris, brought into the side for the horribly out-of-form Shoaib Malik, gave Pakistan the middle order impetus they have so desperately lacked in this tournament. His 89 off 59 balls contained some of the most exquisite timing you’ll see anywhere, dominating the Proteas bowlers off front and back foot on both sides of the wicket.

Mickey Arthur was quick to put an end to any untoward negativity. Many journalists these days believe in short-term gain by focusing on negativity rather than long-term credibility by focusing on good insights. Arthur put an end to that just as Haris put an end to South Africa’s World Cup campaign. With Haris in this kind of form, who’s to say Pakistan can’t make a late run towards the Semi Finals?

CWC 2019 - Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points. PAK vs SA: 5 key talking points from their World Cup 2019 match.
Image: Getty. Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points – What a knock by Haris Sohail

2. South Africa’s pathetic body language exposed

South Africa’s premier bowler was brought on to bowl an important 35th over. Haris Sohail had just walked to the crease, and Pakistan’s run rate had crept back up to just over five for the first time since the first 15 overs. South Africa set a field for the short ball, and when Kagiso Rabada looked for the double bluff and was driven for four, the reaction from Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis behind the stumps told the story. The next ball was hoicked over point off a very predictable short ball.

From that moment in particular, South Africa looked gone. They believed they were finished. It was error after error in the death overs. JP Duminy’s awful misjudgment on the boundary. South Africa’s awful lack of yorkers. Rabada looked a frustrated figure pleading his case with de Kock and du Plessis, after which he stood a forlorn figure on the boundary. de Kock’s concern behind the stumps said it all. It mirrored what they showed in the field against Bangladesh. It has been the case with the bat all tournament. When the situation required belief and fire in the belly, the Proteas showed none of it.

CWC 2019 - Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points. PAK vs SA: 5 key talking points from their World Cup 2019 match.
Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points – Quinton de Kock looked worried.

3. South Africa need a clearout

It’s time for change for South Africa. The cricket they have played in this campaign is not acceptable for a side desperate for World Cup success. Despite their good form in bilateral series before CWC 2019, there always seemed to be something missing.

South Africa’s tactics at the death is mind-boggling. The lack of yorkers at is reflective of muddled minds, lacking the strategic nous and feel for the game that is so crucial in big games. Their obsession with slower and length balls makes them mighty predictable, giving opposition batsmen a free pass to hit the ball wherever they like. South Africa need a coach who can better equip this side to perform on a regular basis. Ottis Gibson’s time has surely run out.

Also, while a new coach is needed, some new players are too. Hashim Amla and David Miller are players under the pump. They have not contributed as experienced players in this World Cup. Aiden Markram continues to underwhelm, and South Africa have to make a call as to whether he opens the batting or watches on from the sidelines. JP Duminy’s inclusion in this tournament backfired badly, reflective of South Africa’s reluctance to blood new players in.

Reeza Hendricks, who was disappointing in the lead up to CWC 2019, might benefit from an extended run in the side when World Cup spots isn’t the focus point. It is time for Janneman Malan to get a shot. So too Kyle Verreynne. Add Sarel Erwee to the list. These guys were the leading run scorers in the most recent edition of the South Africa Momentum One Day Cup. It is time they are given a run in the team.

Download: Making cricket an interactive experience! Discover Harrison Cricket Apps ODI version. For full screenshots, click here.

4. Babar Azam plays a more significant innings

Babar Azam’s highlight reel in CWC 2019 has been a beautiful sight to behold. A magnificent driver of the ball, Babar has looked good in just about every innings he has played, only to get out once set.

Here, while he didn’t go on to score a century, Babar held the innings together nicely. With some key games to come, Pakistan would highly value time at the crease for Babar, who can elevate Pakistan significantly.

CWC 2019 - Pakistan v South Africa: 5 key talking points. PAK vs SA: 5 key talking points from their World Cup 2019 match.
Image: Sky Sports. v South Africa: 5 key talking points – Babar played well.

5. Pakistan’s bowlers bounce back well

Sure, the batting line up they were up against is bereft of confidence. Especially compared to India, against whom Pakistan struggled last week. However, Pakistan never let South Africa get going, ensuring that their confidence couldn’t increase, winning by a very comfortable 49 runs.

This time, Mohammad Amir had some support. Shadab Khan was terrific, along with Wahab Riaz who always provided wicket-taking threat. While the form of Shaheen Shah Afridi is still concerning, Pakistan can take heart from their best collective bowling effort in CWC 2019 to date. Can they follow it up in their next game against unbeaten New Zealand?

That is the big question.

Download: Making cricket an interactive experience! Discover Harrison Cricket Apps ODI version. For full screenshots, click here.

Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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