Pakistan thrashed South Africa in the 3rd T20I to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Pakistan are favorites to win the 4th T20I.
After being brutally beaten in the 3rd T20I, Pakistan roared back in the series with a commanding 9-wicket win while chasing a target of 204. Captain Babar Azam led the way with a career-best hundred and ensured his team now has an unassailable 2-1 lead in the 4-match series. South Africa batted well but could have been a lot more aggressive on this placid wicket. They are clearly missing their key players and are struggling without their services. It will take a huge effort from them to stop this confident Pakistan team in the final T20I now.
A total of 203-5 in 20 overs may seem like a very good score. But the track at SuperSport Park in Centurion was as flat as they come and batting first, the home side floundered the advantage they had after a good opening of 108 in 10.4 overs. They should have targeted a total of around 220-230, but once again failed to finish the innings properly. The standout batsman for South Africa was once again Aiden Markram who led the way with a sparkling 63 off 31 balls – his third-consecutive fifty of the series. Janneman Malan (55 off 40 balls) also played a vital knock, but the middle and lower order needed to push harder. The likes of George Linde, Rassie van der Dussen, and skipper Heinrich Klaasen would need to be more assertive on this wicket to push Pakistan.
The bigger problem for South Africa right now is their bowling. George Linde, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, and Sisanda Magala have all been listless and uninspiring. Only leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has shown some promise but even he will struggle on such a flat surface. This bowling unit will have another tough challenge to face in the last T20I.
Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen (c & wk), Pite van Biljon, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
|R van der Dussen||34||20||1||2||170|
Aiden Markram, Lizaad Williams, Heinrich Klaasen, SSB Magala, Rassie van der Dussen, Bjorn Fortuin, Tabraiz Shamsi, Andile Phehlukwayo, George Linde, Wiaan Mulder, Janneman Malan
Pakistan needed to strike back hard after being humbled by this inexperienced South African side in the 2nd T20I. And they did so in style. They chased down a target of 204 in just 18 overs courtesy of an outstanding opening partnership of 197 in 17.4 overs between skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. The star of the chase was Babar though who hit his maiden T20I hundred and took his team home with an absolutely magnificent 122 of 59 balls. Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 73 off 47 balls was pretty fantastic too. However, Pakistan’s middle and lower order hasn’t been tested much and has been a little inconsistent of late. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, and Asif Ali might have to prove their worth in the last match.
Pakistan’s bowling was impressive again in the last match even though they went for runs. On a placid track, when South Africa looked good to get a total of 220, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi helped restrict them to just 203. Hasan Ali was expensive again and the team might consider bringing in leg-spinner Usman Qadir for the last match.
Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Qadir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||17||0 mm.||2.84 k/h||From: SSE||34%|
|03h||17||0 mm.||2.55 k/h||From: SSE||23%|
|06h||19||0 mm.||2.36 k/h||From: ESE||11%|
|09h||26||0 mm.||1.86 k/h||From: E||3%|
|12h||29||0 mm.||2.47 k/h||From: S||4%|
|15h||27||0 mm.||2.65 k/h||From: S||52%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||7.53 k/h||From: E||70%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||5.31 k/h||From: E||43%|
The pitch at SuperSport Park in Centurion is as flat as they come. Bowlers will have a hard time here, as we saw in the last game. They would have to use a lot of slow balls and other variations to keep the batters in check. The batsmen will dominate again.
The weather in Centurion will be clear and pleasant with the day temperatures likely to be around 27° C.
In the last game at the SuperSport Park, we saw 408 runs being scored in just 38 overs. Expect another run-fest in the final T20I. Even a target of 210-odd might not be enough for the chasing side as a target of 223 too has been overhauled here.
The team winning the toss would look to bat second as chasing is the much easier option on this venue.
South Africa have really struggled in this series without the services of seven of their main players. While they have shown promise in their batting, their bowling has been extremely mediocre and against a side like Pakistan that will cost them dearly. Pakistan, barring that slip-up in the 2nd T20I, have been clinical and dominating. They are easily the much better side in all departments and are favorites to win the 4th T20I and clinch the series.
Pakistan are favorites to win the 4th T20I.