South Africa vs. Pakistan: Winners and Losers from Cricket World Cup Match

Antoinette Muller@mspr1ntFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2015

South Africa vs. Pakistan: Winners and Losers from Cricket World Cup Match

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    Pakistan beat South Africa by 29 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method on Saturday, ensuring their World Cup hopes stay alive.

    South Africa's bowlers did a good job in restricting Pakistan to 222, but the Proteas batsmen were shocking in reply. Their shot selection was baffling, and although Pakistan bowled well, South Africa's batsmen conspired to find new ways to get out when they really didn't need to.

    We've picked some winners and losers from the match. Add yours in the comments.

Winner: Sarfraz Ahmed

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    Umar Akmal was dismissed from his wicketkeeping duties and Sarfraz Ahmed took over the gloves.

    Not only did he have a useful knock at the top of the order, he also broke the record for most catches by a Pakistan wicketkeeper in ODIs.

    Sarfraz nabbed a number of good efforts behind the stumps, and it's safe to say that Akmal won't be returning to keeping duty any time soon.

Winners: The Bowlers of Both Teams

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    So much has been made about the batsmen in this tournament. But on Saturday, the bowlers of both sides put in a really good effort.

    Dale Steyn bowled with some real pace and reaped his rewards, taking three for 30. He was well supported by Morne Morkel, who conceded just 25 runs in his 9.4 overs, and Imran Tahir's tidy spell.

    Pakistan's bowling attack was equally impressive with Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz bowling beautifully to constantly force South Africa into mistakes by making the pressure build just a little.

    It was a good day to be a bowler, even with AB de Villiers at the crease.

Loser: South Africa's Ability to Chase

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    Curiously, South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl, despite knowing how dubious their record is when batting second. That decision might have been partly influenced by the rain that was hovering about, but after the disaster against India, it was an interesting move.

    Since 2012, South Africa have pretty much a 50-50 record when batting second. They have won 15 and lost 13 of the total matches in which they have batted second, and they have won seven and lost six when batting second away from home (not including the match against Pakistan).

    But it's the lack of substantial partnerships that have let them down.

    In the same time period, South Africa's top and middle order (Amla through to David Miller) have 26 hundreds between them when they have batted first. That record drops significantly when looking at their records batting second, with just eight hundreds in total.

    When it comes to partnerships, the record is equally dubious. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock have just one century and one half-century partnership when batting second, while Amla and Faf Du Plessis, and Amla and AB De Villiers have two century and two half-century partnerships apiece.

Winner: Pakistan's World Cup Chances

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    Pakistan needed to win in order to keep their prospects of progressing to the next round alive. They put in an impressive performance and now have a big confidence boost heading into their final match against Ireland.

Loser: Quinton De Kock

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    Quinton de Kock just can't catch a break this World Cup. Although he got out to a very good delivery, he has only gotten into double figures once in the tournament, and even then he managed just 12.

    South Africa need to decide whether he is worth persisting with when it comes to the knockout games or whether they can convince AB de Villiers to take the gloves and Rilee Rossouw to slot into the batting lineup to boost it.