South Africa bounced back to register an emphatic win in the 2nd T20I against Pakistan to level the series 1-1.
We are backing Pakistan to win the 3rd T20!
Pakistan showed their mercurial side again as they succumbed to a second-string South African team in the 2nd T20I at Johannesburg without even a fight. It was a very poor batting performance from the visitors on a great wicket and they would have to quickly introspect on how to get things right. South Africa, meanwhile, would be delighted that they have squared the series. If they can continue pushing themselves above their weight, they might well produce another couple of amazing performances like these in the remaining two matches.
No one expected this South Africa, side, which is without seven of its main players, to win so comfortably against a talented Pakistani side. This is why the performance in the 2nd T20I will bring a lot of confidence to the team management and the fans. After Pakistan opted to bat first, the South African bowlers bowled well to restrict them to a paltry 140-9. They then chased the target down in just 14 overs with 6 wickets to spare.
The hero of the chase was Aiden Markram who led the way with his second consecutive fifty. Captain Heinrich Klaasen too is in great form and his unbeaten 36 off 21 balls helped seal the chase. George Linde, who had wrecked the Pakistani innings with his spell of 3-23, also played a useful cameo of 20* off 10 balls. This is a talented South African batting unit and if Janneman Malan too can contribute regularly, they can put real pressure on Pakistan.
On the bowling front, apart from Linde, Lizaad Williams and leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi bowled impressively. Newbie Sisanda Magala too showed character after conceding 18 runs in his first over and helped restrict the opposition at the death.
Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Wihan Lubbe, Heinrich Klaasen (c & wk), Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Lizaad Williams, Janneman Malan, George Linde, SSB Magala, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Aiden Markram, Andile Phehlukwayo, PJ van Biljon, B Hendricks
One of the issues with the Pakistani limited overs side has been their dependency on their top-order. Whenever their main stars fail, the middle and lower order tends to struggle which is exactly what happened in the 2nd T20I. In the absence of the injured Fakhar Zaman, the onus was on Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. However, Rizwan fell without scoring while Babar could only manage a run-a-ball 50 that put a brake on the team’s scoring. Mohammad Hafeez failed to convert a start and Haider Ali and Faheem Ashraf couldn’t impress. While Fakhar is expected to be back in the next match, the team’s middle-order would have to be a lot more assertive.
Pakistan’s bowlers too looked off-color in the last match. Shaheen Afridi hasn’t been at his best in this series so far and Mohammad Nawaz couldn’t put any pressure on the South African batsmen. Mohammad Hasnain was good, though. And maybe the captain should have bought Hasan Ali a little earlier as he could only deliver two overs. Leg spinner Abdul Qadir was the pick of the lot with a spell of 2-26 and he could be the vital cog for the team in the next two matches.
Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain
Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Nawaz, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
Get ready for another belter of a wicket at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Traditionally, this surface has been great for batting and remains even throughout the game. Seam bowlers tend to struggle as they get little help. However, spinners might come in handy during the middle overs when the ball softens a little.
The weather at Centurion on the day of the game is expected to be cloudy and pleasant.
The SuperSport Park in Centurion has been a high-scoring venue. There have been three totals of over 200 scored here, with the highest one being 241-6 by South Africa against England in 2009. Moreover, a target of 223 too was chased down here with 5 balls to spare by England against South Africa in 2020. The team batting first in the 3rd T20I would hence have to target a total of around 190-200 to feel safe.
The team winning the toss might look to chase first as this is a good batting wicket which remains true throughout.
Pakistan would have to regroup quickly after that poor show in the 2nd T20I. They are a good limited-overs team and have got plenty of talent in all the departments. Expect the visitors to come back hard in the next match. This inexperienced South African side would be delighted with their performance and it would be interesting to see if they can continue the momentum. It will be a tough challenge as the opposition is bound to sort their mistakes. However, if their batting unit can perform collectively, they can put pressure on Pakistan again.
We are backing Pakistan to win the 3rd T20!