Auckland, New Zealand: Pakistan pulled off a thrilling 29-run win over South Africa in the World Cup on Saturday after Proteas captain A.B. de Villiers couldn't manage to carry his team to victory as his teammates collapsed around him.
Pakistan scored just 222 in its rain-affected innings and appeared headed for defeat against South Africa's powerful batting lineup.
The Proteas, needing 232 to win under the Duckworth-Lewis system, raced to 67-1 after nine overs but then collapsed, losing five wickets for 35 runs.
De Villiers led a rearguard South African comeback, smashing 77 off 58 balls, but it wasn't quite enough as the team was all out for 202.
Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed won man-of-the-match honors after scoring 49 and then equaling the world record for a one-day match by taking six catches.
Two rain delays during Pakistan's innings suspended play for about 75 minutes in total, reducing the match to 47 overs per side. In the end, neither side batted out their overs.
South Africa won the toss and sent Pakistan in to bat. A number of batsmen got off to promising starts but didn't follow through with big scores. Captain Misbah ul-Haq led the way with a solid knock of 56.
Pakistan got off to its best start of the tournament, putting on 30 runs for the first wicket, after it had managed a top score off just 11 in its previous four games.
The team's decision to replace struggling opener Nasir Jamshed with Sarfraz paid off big time. In his innings, he started slowly but then began to dominate, smashing three sixes in one over off J.P. Duminy.
But his innings came to an end when he was run out by David Miller for 49.
South Africa, after losing the early wicket of Quinton de Kock, appeared poised to crush Pakistan as it raced to 67 runs off nine overs. Opener Hashim Amla crashed eight consecutive fours to open his tally, finally hitting a two before smashing a ninth boundary.
But then Francois du Plessis was caught behind in the 10th over, sparking a surprising collapse. Amla, who had looked in complete control, was out the same way in the next over for 38. Rilee Rossouw then tried to hook a ball over fine leg but was caught near the boundary, and then David Miller was out lbw for a duck. South Africa was suddenly in deep trouble at 77 for five.
All-rounders A.B. de Villiers and J.P. Duminy looked to steady the innings. But then Duminy fell with the score at 102 and Pakistan were bowling to the tail, with bowler Dale Steyn coming to the wicket.
De Villiers tried to win it almost solo from there, but when he was out, South Africa was all but finished.