Chennai — South African skipper Temba Bavuma admitted his team was lucky after pulling off a one wicket win over Pakistan in a sensational finish to their World Cup match in Chennai on Friday.
South Africa were well on course for a comfortable win at 206-4 after being set 271 to win but Aiden Markram’s dismissal for a brilliant 91 gave Pakistan a sniff of victory.
It was left to the last pair of Keshav Maharaj (seven not out) and Tabraiz Shamsi (four not out) to score the last 11 runs for South Africa’s fifth win in six games.
Bavuma said his side was lucky to pull off victory.
“I do think we could have shown a lot more of a clinical display in going about that run chase,” said Bavuma. “I think we did have luck on our side. We did give them opportunities to get into the game.”
A MASSIVE VICTORY FOR THE PROTEAS 🇿🇦
A remarkable chase from the Proteas which went to the very end🔥
What A Win !🥳#PAKvSA #CWC23 #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/jXmaHUZzRa
— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) October 27, 2023
Markram added 70 for the fifth wicket with David Miller (29) to lift his team from 136-4 before they lost the next six wickets for 54 runs.
Pakistan have lost four of six matches. To reach the semi-final, they must win their last three matches and hope other results go their way.
Bavuma said players were jumping up and down in the dying moments.
“It was a little bit chaotic now with the guys jumping around. I think obviously at the end as well, we were all on the edge of our seats.
“I think you had everyone’s opinions flying around as to how we should be going about that run chase. But at the end of the day, the guys who were in there, Keshav and Shamsi, did it for us.”
Bavuma said his team needed to chase wisely.
“I think the gods were with us. But like I said, it’s easier for us to have those conversations regarding our blueprint and how we want to go about going about those run chases.”
South Africa have won four matches while batting first and were upset by the Netherlands when they failed to chase a 246-run target.
Bavuma said South Africa’s rugby team has been an inspiration.
Temba Bavuma might be struggling for a few runs in #CWC23 but he’s definitely not lacking any confidence when it comes to leading this team. The culture he and Rob has built over the past 6 months is incredible. Let’s take learning from this game. We move. WELL DONE SKIP 👊 pic.twitter.com/dFiO6ldK2n
— Lawrence Bailey ⚪ 🇿🇦 (@LawrenceBailey0) October 27, 2023
“I think speaking about more recently with the Boks, I think their performances have been inspiring,” said Bavuma of the South African rugby team set to face New Zealand in the final in Paris on Saturday.
“Looking at the quarterfinal, how they went about it there. Looking at the semifinal as well where they kind of came out of nowhere and won it for the team.
“I think that was quite inspiring and motivating for us as players to see how guys never gave up.”
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Compiled by Matthew Petersen