The South Africa-Pakistan series is locked at 1-1 and all eyes are now set at the decider on the 7th of April.
Expect Pakistan to clinch the game.
South Africa leveled the 3-match ODI series against Pakistan after they registered a 17-run win in the 2nd ODI at Johannesburg. The high-scoring game saw many fine knocks, but the show-stealer was opener Fakhar Zaman’s incredible 193 which almost took Pakistan to an improbable win. Despite losing the game, Pakistan would be quite proud of the way they fought. Moreover, with many key South African players leaving for IPL duties before the 3rd ODI, Pakistan have a golden chance of earning a series win.
South Africa produced a robust batting performance in the 2nd ODI to bat Pakistan out of the match. After being asked to bat first, the Proteas posted a whopping 341-6 on the board with important contributions from Quinton de Kock (80), and skipper Temba Bavuma (92), along with blistering cameos from Rassie van der Dussen (60 off 37 balls) and David Miller (50 off 27 balls).
Bowling on such a flat pitch was tough but Kagiso Rabada was miserly and managed to put the Pakistani top-order in check. Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Anrich Nortje did a fine job but leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was quite expensive again which is now a concern.
Five South African players – David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock, and Lungi Ngidi – will not be a part of the last ODI and the T20I series following as they have left to take part in the IPL. This will certainly affect both their bowling and batting units and gives Pakistan a great chance.
Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Janneman Malan, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), JJ Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Tabraiz Shamsi
|Q de Kock||80||86||10||1||93.02|
|R van der Dussen||60||37||6||4||162.16|
Andile Phehlukwayo, JJ Smuts, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, Lutho Sipamla, Aiden Markram, Daryn Dupavillon, B Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Temba Bavuma
Pakistan almost pulled off an incredible win in the 2nd ODI courtesy of Fakhar Zaman’s 193 which was easily one of the greatest innings in a chase. It was a sensational performance where he almost single-handedly went after the target of 342 runs even as wickets kept tumbling around him. The next highest score from Pakistan in the match was 31 by captain Babar Azam which does raise some concerns again on the team’s middle and lower orders. The likes of Mohammad Rizwan, Danish Aziz, and Shadab Khan couldn’t make an impact again and would really need to step up.
On the bowling front, Pakistan struggled to stop the South African batsman on a flat batting track. Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain were both expensive. Faheem Ashraf was decent but it was Haris Rauf’s spell of 3-54 that stood out. In fact, had it not been for the seamer’s miserly overs at the end, South Africa would have ended with a much bigger total.
Spinner Shadab Khan is injured and will be missing the next game. Usman Qadir is likely to be brought in as the replacement. Hasan Ali might also be given a game.
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Usman Qadir, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Usman Qadir, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, Imam-ul-Haq, Shaheen Afridi
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
As we saw in the first ODI at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, the track here is quite great for batting and remains true throughout the game. Seamers will get some help initially when the ball is new. But once the shine wears off, bowling here will be a challenge.
The weather at Centurion on the day of the game will be cloudy with a thunderstorm expected in the afternoon.
The SuperSport Park has traditionally been a high-scoring ODI venue. As many as 18 scores of 300+ have been scored here with the highest total being the massive 392-6 by South Africa against Pakistan in 2007. Expect another high-scoring contest here and the team batting first would have to target a total of around 320-odd runs as chasing isn’t quite tough on this wicket.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first as chasing has yielded better results on this venue in recent times.
With the series locked 1-1, the 3rd and final ODI should be a cracker of a contest. South Africa would be high on confidence after winning the last game, but they will be missing many key players from their team which does take away their advantage. Pakistan will be delighted with the way they fought but will have to ensure their batting unit gets their act together. They have a great chance of putting pressure on an inexperienced South African team and winning the series.
Expect Pakistan to clinch the game.