by Stephan Shemilt, BBC Sport
Pakistan’s pace bowlers stunned South Africa to earn a thrilling 29-run win in Pool B of the World Cup.
Chasing 232 in Auckland, South Africa looked well placed on 67-1, before Pakistan’s left-arm trio got to work.
Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Irfan dismissed the Proteas for 202, despite captain AB de Villiers’ 77.
Pakistan had earlier scraped to 222, with South Africa’s total adjusted after rain reduced the match to 47 overs per side.
The victory, a third in succession, means Pakistan will definitely reach the quarter-finals if they beat Ireland in their final group game on 15 March.
Even if they lose in Adelaide, Misbah-ul-Haq’s side will have a chance of progressing on net run-rate depending on other results involving the Irish and West Indies.
For South Africa, a first opportunity to reach the last eight was missed, but their qualification will be assured with a win against the UAE on Thursday.
They arrived at Eden Park on the back of consecutive scores in excess of 400 but, like their earlier defeat by India, wilted when faced with the pressure of a run-chase.
De Villiers attempted a single-handed pursuit as the rest of his team failed to deal with the pace and hostility of the Pakistan attack.
The Proteas had earlier been cruising during a stand of 67 between Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis, but, when Du Plessis feathered Rahat behind, it began a collapse of four wickets for 10 runs.
Amla was brilliantly caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed off Riaz, Rilee Rossouw hooked the same bowler to fine leg and David Miller was trapped in front by Rahat.
When Irfan returned to have JP Duminy caught hooking, De Villiers was left to play a virtually lone hand, pulling Riaz for two sixes in the same over.
He dished out similar treatment to Afridi and flayed the attack in the batting powerplay to make an unlikely victory appear possible.
But, he edged an attempted hook off Sohail Khan behind with 32 still required and, soon after, Riaz found the edge of last man Imran Tahir to give Sarfraz a record-equalling sixth catch..
The Proteas had succumbed to sort of pace and bounce that their own bowlers had earlier produced to restrict Pakistan to what seemed like a substandard total.
Sarfraz, at the top of the order in place of Nasir Jamshed, took the fight to South Africa by heaving three leg-side sixes from one Duminy over.
However, when he was needlessly run out by Miller’s good work in the outfield, South Africa chipped through the Pakistan batting.
Indeed, the Proteas may have restricted Pakistan further had De Villiers not had to bowl six overs of his medium pace to cover for the expensive Duminy, who was on his return from injury.
Still, when Pakistan lost their final five wickets for 10 runs after a second rain delay, that seemed academic.
Captain Misbah was the eighth man out, his defiant 56 a fourth half-century in five innings. His team seemed beaten, yet, in fact, they already had enough.