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Incredible Pakistan down South Africa

AUCKLAND–March 7, 2015: Pakistan's left-arm pace trio of Rahat Ali, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz gave spirited performance earned Pakistan a hard-fought 29-run win on Duckworth-Lewis method over South Africa in a World Cup Group B match in Auckland on Saturday.

All three grabbed three wickets apiece, skittling South Africa out for 202 in 33.3 overs.

Rahat Ali returned with a career-best 3-40, Irfan with 3 for 52 while Wahab 3 for 45 as South Africa wilted under their combined onslaught. The fourth speedster Sohail Khan also did his job by getting the crucial wicket of AB de Villiers as bowlers lived up to skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's conviction that his team had the attack to stop South Africa in the crunch game.

As soon as Pakistan sealed the win, the downpour pounded Eden Park, but even if it had come sooner, Pakistan would still have won on DL method.

A.B de Viliers hit a brilliant 58-ball 77 with five sixes and seven boundaries but failed to stop Pakistan from registering their third win in five matches – their first win over Proteas in all World Cups.

After two rain interruptions reduced the match to 47-over-a-side, Pakistan were bowled out in 46.4 overs as skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored 56 while Sarfraz Ahmed made run-a-ball 49.

South Africa, which needed a win to qualify for the quarters, now wait for their last match against the United Arab Emirates in Wellington on March 12 for a berth in the next round.

Pakistan will also need a win against Ireland in their last match in Adelaide on March 15.

De Villiers, who completed 1000 World Cup runs, was dismissed by Sohail Khan in the 33rd over for wicketkeeper Ahmed's sixth catch in the match – equalling the world record for most catches behind the stumps in a one-day international.

South Africa were off to a disastrous start as opener Quinton de Kock was dismissed in Irfan's first over of the innings.

With nine boundaries in his 38, Hashim Amla steadied the innings during his 67-run second wicket stand with Faf du Plessis before Pakistan hit back.

Ali removed Du Plessis and David Miller (nought) while Riaz dismissed Amla and Rilee Rossouw (six) as South Africa lost four wickets in the space of 39 balls with the addition of just 10 runs.

Irfan returned for his second spell to have Jean-Paul Duminy for 12 as South Africa were left reeling at 102-6.

De Villiers took the fight to the Pakistani bowlers adding 36 with Dale Steyn (16) and another invaluable 33 for the eighth with Kyle Abbott (12).

He hit two sixes in one Shahid Afridi over to reach his fifty off just 45 balls before Pakistan staged a late comeback.

It was Misbah who steadied the Pakistan's innings with a determined 86-ball knock – his fourth half-century in five World Cup matches.

The Pakistan captain also completed 5,000 one-day international runs when on seven in his 160th match.

He was the 12th Pakistani to reach the landmark but the first from any country to do so without scoring an individual hundred.

Misbah hit four boundaries before he holed out at third man off Dale Steyn, who finished with three for 30.

Afridi made a 15-ball 22 with two sixes and a boundary.

Sarfraz put on a confident 30-run opening stand with Ahmed Shehzad (18) – the best opening stand for Pakistan in this tournament – before Steyn held a smart diving catch to give South Africa the breakthrough.

Shehzad hit Kyle Abbott towards long-on where Steyn, on the run, held a low chance.

Not having played in Pakistan's first four pool matches, Sarfraz hit three sixes in one JP Duminy over before he ran himself out while taking a second run in a bid to reach his fifty.

He also hit five boundaries in his run-a-ball knock.

Younis Khan, dropped after poor run of scores in the first three matches, made an attractive 44-ball 37 with four boundaries before falling to a soft dismissal off the part-time bowling of Proteas captain AB de Villiers.

Sohaib Maqsood made eight and Umar Akmal 13 as they again failed to turn their potential into performance.