The Pakistan Objective Of The Billing Against Du Plessis-less South Africa > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Pakistan aim to settle scores against du Plessis-less South Africa

Despite a brief wobble, Pakistan managed to come 6 runs close to South Africa's total in the first T20I

That Pakistan pulled themselves back in the game and kept the audiences at the edge of the seats till the penultimate ball of the match is something they will take heart from ahead of the second T20I. Friday was the first time since the 2016 WT20 that Pakistan derailed in a chase. Their defeat also put a halt on their nine-match winning-streak.

Despite excellent batting conditions, a 192-run target against South Africa in South Africa was always going to be a daunting proposition. But, to begin with, it was alarming for a side whose T20 successes are built around its impeccable bowling to concede that many runs. Pakistan last conceded this many runs (193 to be precise) in their last 2016 T20 WC match.

The debate on whether Sarfraz Ahmed should indulge in consistent chatters with his lads might be contentious, but it had surely kept Pakistan on track in the shorter-format. There was an inherent lack of captaincy on display Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks thrashed the Pakistan bowlers, regardless of their bowling styles, all over the park. It became evident with the dearth of variations in Shadab Khan's pace and, on occasions, in length.

But T20 is a format that Pakistan masters. It was evident in how they restricted South Africa from crossing the 200-run mark, which at one time seemed a certainty, by leaking only 35 and, most importantly, picking five wickets, in the death overs. And then, in how the chase remained alive despite the middle-over wobble.

A series defeat here might not topple Pakistan from the top-spot in the ICC rankings for the T20I sides. But to consolidate their claim as the top-ranked side, a series win in South Africa is a must. It makes the second contest all the more exciting.

WHEN: February 3, 2019

WHERE: The Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

WHAT TO EXPECT: The bullring has most offered high-scoring encounters in the recent years. Bat will once again dominate the ball.

Team News

South Africa: With Faf du Plessis taking some off time, David Miller will lead South Africa for the first time. The vacant spot in the line-up might be filled by Janneman Malan, a right-handed batsman, who was introduced as Quinton de Kock's replacement in the South African squad.

Probable XI: Reeza Hendricks, Gihahn Cloete (wk), Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller (c), Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala/Lutho Sipamla, Tabraiz Shamsi

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez sat out of the first contest due to a slight hamstring niggle and, according to a PCB release, it was done to ensure he gains fitness for the last two matches. With Asif Ali's struggles at the international level persistent, he might replace Asif in the Pakistan XI.

Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shoaib Malik (c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Usman Shinwari

Did you know?

- David Miller equaled the record for the most number of catches for a fielder in his Man-of-the-Match performance in the first T20I. Other players to take four catches in an innings are Darren Sammy (WI), Peter Borren (NL), Corey Anderson (NZ), Dinesh Chandimal (SL), Ajinkya Rahane (IND), and Babar Hayat (HKG).

- Imad Wasim, the most economical bowler from both sides from the first T20I, has the best economy rate amongst the Pakistan bowlers to have bowled more than 100 overs in T20Is.

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