WATCH: Haris Rauf takes a sensational one-handed return catch
Rauf conjured a pivotal moment in the penultimate stage that tilted the game in Pakistan's favor.
Haris Rauf executed a remarkable one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lungi Ngidi in the final moments of the South Africa-Pakistan 2023 ODI World Cup encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on October 27. Despite Rauf's exceptional effort, South Africa narrowly secured another victory.
Rauf was in the midst of delivering the concluding over of his spell as South Africa approached their target with eight wickets down. Ngidi defended the first two balls, leaving South Africa still requiring 11 runs for victory. On the third delivery, Rauf conjured a pivotal moment that tilted the game in Pakistan's favor.
He bowled a length ball that angled across Ngidi, who sought to flick it off his pads into the leg side. However, he ended up getting a leading edge, causing the ball to loop back towards the bowler.
Rauf's late heroics fail to save Pakistan
With his eyes fixed on the rapidly descending ball, Rauf lunged forward and managed to secure it with his left hand just before it made contact with the ground. As he hit the deck and rolled over, Rauf tossed the ball up into the air, unleashing a roar of celebration. His teammates swiftly swarmed him, acknowledging his extraordinary effort.
Despite Rauf's heroics, South Africa barely crossed the finish line, winning by just one wicket. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj successfully defended an over from Mohammad Wasim Jr. before Maharaj struck a boundary off Mohammad Nawaz, sealing the result with 16 balls to spare.
Having now suffered four consecutive defeats, Pakistan faces a daunting challenge in their quest to advance to the knockout stage.