Man of the Match: David Miller
Pakistan to win the Match
Our Prediction is Pakistan to win!
Hosts South Africa will be looking to start afresh when they take on Pakistan in the opening game of T20I series in Cape Town on Friday.
South Africa Skipper Faf du Plessis will be hoping that youngsters included in the T20 squad can do well in this three-match series. The home side has managed to win 9 T20 games out of 16 played since August 2016. South Africa is currently lying at fifth position in the current ICC T20 Rankings.
Shoaib Malik will lead Pakistan for this three-match T20I series. Pakistan are currently at the top of the ICC T20 Rankings. The side will be looking to win this T20 series after losing the Test and ODI series.
Since August 2016, Pakistan have managed to win 29 games out of 33 matches played in the format. The visitors are coming into this series on the back of consecutive series wins over Australia and New Zealand.
The hosts have included upcoming players like Gihahn Cloete, Willem Mulder, Junior Dala and Lutho Sipamla for the three-match T20I series. Uncapped seamer Lutho Sipamla has earned his maiden call-up to the T20 squad due to his string of good performances at the domestic level.
Faf du Plessis will lead South Africa for this three-match T20I series. The home side will certainly be relying on their experienced players like David Miller, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis to do the bulk of the scoring.
In the batting department, David Miller has topped the batting charts for South Africa in the format since August 2016. He has scored 323 runs in 15 matches with one century to his name.
Reeza Hendricks played well for South Africa in the recently concluded five-match one-day series against Pakistan. He will be looking to get some runs in this three-match series. He also performed exceedingly well in the inaugural Mzansi Super League. Reeza Hendricks will certainly open the innings alongside Quinton de Kock for the T20I series. Rassie van der Dussen performed exceedingly well for South Africa in the recently concluded one-day series against Pakistan. He will be keen to continue his rich vein of form in this T20I series.
In the bowling department, the likes of Chris Morris, Junior Dala and Beuran Hendricks will need to provide breakthroughs with the new-ball. Since August 2016, Andile Phehlukwayo has also produced decent numbers with the ball and picked up 16 wickets at an average of 21.81.
Pace bowler Junior Dala has also done well for South Africa with 11 wickets at an average of 14.27. Left-arm Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will need to improve his game with the ball in order to retain his place in the T20 squad.
Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Willem Mulder, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Reeza Hendricks, Chris Morris, David Miller, Gihahn Cloete, B Hendricks, Andile Phehlukwayo
The visitors will certainly as favorites to win this three-match T20I series against South Africa. Shoaib Malik and co. will be keen to maintain their consistency with bat and ball in this series. The green shirts are certainly in red-hot form in the format and have notched up nine victories on the trot. In the absence of Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan has plenty of firepower in the batting and bowling department.
In the batting department, the side will be depending on the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik to do the bulk of the scoring. The big positive for Pakistan is Fakhar Zaman finding form with the bat in the recently concluded one-day series against South Africa. Since Jan 2018, he has scored 477 runs at an average of 34.07.
Babar Azam has also shown ominous after being promoted to open the innings alongside Fakhar Zaman. Since Jan 2018, Azam has scored 454 runs in 9 matches at an average of 64.85 with five half-centuries to his name.
Sahibzada Farhan is another promising player who will be looking to make an impression with the bat. Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali will make-up the middle order.
Imad Wasim will certainly play this game as they will turn on offer in Cape Town. In the bowling department, the likes of Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi will be premier options with the ball.
Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf/Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali.
Usman Khan, Babar Azam, SI Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, F Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shoaib Malik, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan
The pitch will be decent for batting for the opening game of the T20I series. The weather forecast for the game will be clear skies.
The venue has not been happy hunting for South Africa in the T20 format. They have lost six games out of nine matches played at Newlands Cricket Ground.
The side that wins the toss would like to bowl first and restrict the opposition to a modest total. The majority of T20 games have been won by sides batting second.
Pakistan will certainly be favorites to take this contest as they currently top side in T20 format. Hosts South Africa will need to improve their game in order to challenge Pakistan in this three-match T20 series.
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