Watch: Temba Bavuma’s animated celebration after South Africa’s win

South Africa continued their purple patch in the ODI World Cup 2023 as they defeated Pakistan by one wicket on Friday in Chennai, in what was arguably the best match of the tournament thus far.

After Keshav Maharaj pulled a shortish delivery from Mohammad Nawaz to bring up the winning runs, celebrations began in the South African dugout. Later, a picture surfaced on the internet where Proteas captain Temba Bavuma was seen jumping in joy and celebrating the epic triumph against Babar Azam and Co.

Earlier, Babar won the toss and opted to bat first. Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals to find themselves in a spot of bother at 141/5. However, an excellent 84-run partnership off 71 balls between Shadab Khan and Saud Shakeel steadied the ship. As the ‘Men in Green’ were looking set for a strong finish, the two set batters departed in quick succession. Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 270 in 46.4 overs. Tabraiz Shamsi, who was brought back into the playing XI for this game, stood out with a four-for while Marco Jansen continued to impress as he bagged three wickets.

In reply, South Africa got off to a quickfire start thanks to Bavuma and Quinton de Kock. Aiden Markram formed half-century partnerships with Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller to take the Proteas closer to the target. South Africa’s vice-captain stood firm at one end but lost partners from the other. Eventually, with 21 to get with four wickets and just under 10 overs in hand, Markram played an inexplicable shot off Usama Mir and got dismissed for 91.

When South Africa lost their ninth wicket, they still needed 11 runs to win. Maharaj and Shamsi managed to dig deep and take their team to victory with 16 balls to spare. With this win, South Africa climbed to the top of the table, having played one extra game than India. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals took a massive hit as they slumped to their fourth loss in a row.