Pakistan stunned South Africa’s star-studded batting line up as they claimed an unexpected 19-run victory (DLS) in the ICC Champions Trophy.
The Proteas were restricted to 219-8 at Edgbaston with Pakistan reaching 119-3 before the rain came down and, ultimately, curtailed the match 27 overs into the chase.
Hasan Ali was the standout bowler for Pakistan, taking 3-24, after spinners Imad Wasim (2-20) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-51) had set Pakistan on their way, accounting for Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers between them.
Pakistan looked clear favourites at the halfway stage but a fiery spell from Morne Morkel (3-18) brought South Africa back into contention, only for the game-ending downpour to condemn them to defeat.
Earlier, Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan bowled well up front for Pakistan but it was the introduction of spin that saw South Africa grind to a halt.
Imad trapped Amla (16) lbw with his second ball and he and Hafeez quickly tied down De Kock and Faf du Plessis.
Frustrated at his inability to keep the score ticking over, De Kock (33) was eventually out lbw trying to sweep Hafeez before Imad had De Villiers caught at backward point for a golden duck in the next over.
With the Pakistan fans already in fine voice, Hasan helped increase the volume inside Edgbaston when he bowled Du Plessis (26) in his first over.
An impressive, economical spell was then rewarded with two wickets in as many balls, JP Duminy caught at slip before Wayne Parnell was comprehensively bowled.
David Miller was the only South Africa batsman to offer any real resistance, hitting a patient 75 not out, and he and Chris Morris (28) added 47 for the seventh wicket, although it remained a case of grinding out the runs until the last five overs.
Kagiso Rabada added a useful 26 and Miller was finally able to cut loose but despite their best efforts, Pakistan appeared in complete control going into the second innings.
Debutant Fakhar Zaman came out firing, peppering the cover point boundary to further strength Pakistan’s position but he was one of two wickets in an over as the introduction Morkel changed the complexion of the game.
The extra bounce garnered by the 6’4″ seamer caused Pakistan no end of problems with Fakhar edging an off-cutter to slip before Azhar Ali (9) guided a catch to Imran Tahir at third man two balls later.
After a flying start, runs were suddenly at a premium and a spell of 20 consecutive dots balls followed before Babar Azam and Hafeez gradually got their side moving again.
Morkel returned to account for Hafeez (26) but, with rain in the air, Babar (31no) and Shoaib Malik (16no) ensured Pakistan were ahead on DLS when the deluge arrived.
The result means both sides could still qualify for the semi-finals if they win their final game, South Africa face India on Sunday while Pakistan take on Sri Lanka on Monday.