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Pakistan vs South Africa: Amir's Remarkable Run With The Ball Continues in World Cup

Mohammad Amir has been in devastating form with the ball in World Cup 2019. He is the joint leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets from just 5 innings in the tournament. His stunning average of 14.6 and strike rate of 18.4 are the best for any bowler (min. 8 wickets) in this World Cup. Add to this his remarkable control and line and length, as is evident from an excellent economy rate of 4.76, and you have a bowler in stunning form.

Nikhil Narain |June 24, 2019, 10:40 AM IST
Pakistan vs South Africa: Amir's Remarkable Run With The Ball Continues in World Cup

Mohammad Amir has been in devastating form with the ball in World Cup 2019. He is the joint leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets from just 5 innings in the tournament. His stunning average of 14.6 and strike rate of 18.4 are the best for any bowler (min. 8 wickets) in this World Cup. Add to this his remarkable control and line and length, as is evident from an excellent economy rate of 4.76, and you have a bowler in stunning form.

Amir again delivered a decisive spell for Pakistan and was instrumental in their 49-run win over South Africa at Lord’s – keeping their hopes alive in the tournament.

He dismissed the experienced Hashim Amla – who was showing signs of coming back to some sort of form with two decent knocks against New Zealand and Afghanistan – with the first ball of his spell, trapping the right-hander leg before wicket with a swinging delivery. It was just the start Pakistan needed.

He delivered a maiden to Quinton de Kock – South Africa’s highest-scorer of the tournament. It was a sensational start by Amir.

He continued to choke the South African batsmen, who needed to score at over 6.5 runs per over, and gave away just 3 and 2 from his third and fourth overs.

His first spell set the tone for the other Pakistani bowlers – 4 overs, 1 maiden, 1 wicket and just 9 runs. This included as many as 18 dot deliveries – in effect he had bowled three overs (out of 4) where the batsmen could not score!

Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen kept South Africa in the hunt and they had moved to 133 for 3 after 29 overs. Du Plessis, in particular was looking good with 61 off 77 deliveries. Pakistan needed a breakthrough and Amir was called upon to deliver his second spell.

And the left-armer did not disappoint. He struck with his third delivery and got the big wicket of the South African captain who, with the asking rate climbing, went for a big heave over mid-wicket but only managed to top-edge a skier to Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Even as the asking rate went up to 9.5 per over, Amir continued to be brilliantly restrictive and gave away just 3 and 2 off his next two overs.

Too much was left to do for the lower-middle order and South Africa succumbed to a 49-run defeat crashing out of the semi-final race in the World Cup.

Although, Shadab Khan also played his part and picked three crucial wickets, it was Mohammad Amir, who, first with his initial spell and then with his second made an instant impact with immediate breakthroughs also keeping a tight leash on the South African batsmen.

Amir delivered as many as 27 dot balls in his first 7 overs, i.e. 64.29% of his deliveries were dot deliveries in his first two spells when the match was still alive and South Africa were still in with a chance.

3-26 in 6 overs against West Indies, 2-67 in 10 against England, 5-30 in 10 against Australia, 3-47 in 10 against India and 2-49 in 10 against South Africa – Amir has not only been lethal in picking wickets but also been phenomenally restrictive in the tournament.

Amir has been unbelievably consistent in this World Cup and picked the wickets of quality opposition batsmen – 10 of his 15 wickets in the tournament have been of the opposition numbers 1-5.

He has been outstanding with the new ball. In 132 deliveries he has bowled in the first powerplay (overs 1-10) he has bowled as many as 90 dot balls, i.e. 68.18% - an incredible achievement with the fielding restrictions in place. His economy rate of 3.41 in this period has been remarkable and 3 of his 15 wickets have come in this phase of play.

Amir has been equally effective in the death overs (41-50) where he has picked 9 wickets and conceded at a rate of 7.31 – which is excellent in this period of play.

Amir has been Pakistan’s trump card in World Cup 2019.

Can he take Pakistan all the way?

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more