Pakistan vs South Africa: Ever since their defeat to India, Pakistan have faced a lot of criticism. Right from cricket experts to their ex-team players, everyone opined that the team could’ve performed better, not just against India, but in the tournament as a whole. Their biggest critique, however, were the Pakistani fans, who have heavily expressed their disappointment towards the team. After a weak performance against arch-rivals India, Pakistan will look to bounce back into form as they face South Africa, in a do-or-die clash. The match will be played in the iconic Lord’s stadium.
A DISAPPOINTING WORLD CUP FOR THE PROTEAS & PAKISTAN
South Africa has had one of the most disappointing world cup tournaments ever. With just 1 victory to their name, and that too getting it from the Afghanistan, who is currently at the bottom of the table with nil victories. Their hopes of qualifying for the semis crashed down, after their last-over defeat against New Zealand. While the Proteas posed a strong challenge through their bowling attack in their previous three games, the batsmen have failed to perform and deliver it to the team, when needed the most. However, the Faf du Plessis-led side will look to turn their fortunes around and to deliver top-class performance, akin to their series victory against the men-in-green.
Pakistan’s performance went down in their last two games as they were outplayed by their opposition. They had an impressive comeback in this world cup against England, however, lost the momentum again. While a battling collapse gave Australia an impressive 41-run victory, a loss against its rivals in India by 89 runs was primarily caused due to lack of vigour and uniformity.
Mohammad Amir has had a positive effect on the team, with heavy contributions coming-in, for each of his outings. However, he has little or no other assistance. Even the batting looks haywire and contributed to the team’s lacklustre performance so far. Except for their match against England, the batsmen couldn’t really deliver it to the team. The repeated mistakes of its seasoned batsmen Shoaib Malik could lead Pakistan to replace him with Haris Sohail in the playing XI.
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Pakistan and South Africa have faced each other in a total of 78 games, wherein the Proteas take a major lead with 50 wins, while Pakistan have 27 wins for their name. Equally, lop-sided is the record of the World Cup between the two teams. Pakistan and South Africa confronted each other on four different occasions (1992, 1996, 1999 and 2015). Only one of these games was won by the men-in-green, while the other three were won by South Africa.
|OVERALL||IN WC||LAST 4 YEARS|
|Matches Played||78||Matches Played||4||Matches Played||6|
|South Africa||50||South Africa||3||South Africa||3|
Despite the defeat, the Proteas might not want to alter their eleven. Quinton de Kock will be eager to get a significant score while facing quality pace attacks. Hashim Amla also has two good knocks to his name, which keeps him in place. However, in the last couple of games, Faf du Plessis wasn’t among the runs and that’s becoming a worrying factor for South Africa.
Rassie van der Dussen has certainly been their best bet with the bat and will be looking to continue his excellent shape. Lungi Ngidi stared strongly after being back from the injury layoff. His counterpart, Kagiso Rabada has picked up six wickets so far, but he is yet to unleash himself completely in this tournament. With 8 and 9 wickets respectively, Imran Tahir and all-rounder Chris Morris looked spectacular.
PROBABLE XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir
Pakistan might want to take Haris Sohail to replace the seasoned Shoaib Malik, who has been out-of-form. Out of the three games he played in, Malik has already pocketed a few ducks. Even Hasan Ali’s place in the playing XI is at risk as the young Mohammad Hasnain may be given a chance. Hasan has taken two wickets in this tournament at an average of 128 and an economy of 7.75.
Seasoned Wahab Riaz has been bowling it with pace but hasn’t been able to convert them into wickets for the team. The in-form Mohammad Amir will again be looked upon for getting the key breakthroughs. As far as their batting is concerned, except for Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez, the rest of the team looked pale. Fakhar Zaman looked better in the previous game against India after scoring 62 runs. He must have acquired some confidence after that.
PROBABLE XI: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir
The game between Pakistan and South Africa will be the debut world cup game at the iconic Lords stadium. The pitch here is moderate one; the average score in the last 5 games has been south of 300; at 288 runs. Hence, the fireworks in today’s game may not be as much as those we have been seeing in the ongoing tournament. Also, this pitch has a reputation of assisting the chasing team. The pitch has hosted a total 58 ODIs, out of which 30 were won by the team batting second. The trend has been no different in the last five ODIs, with the chasing team winning three out of five games played here. Hence, considering the nature of the pitch, the team winning the toss should put the opposition to bat first and chase down the score.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Fakhar Zaman – Pakistan | Faf du Plessis – South Africa
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR PAKISTAN vs SOUTH AFRICA
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 18:00 IST; 13:30 local
PREDICTION: Pakistan are the favourites to win this contest.
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