Pakistan, The Goal At The End A Disappointing Tour On A High > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Pakistan aim to end disappointing tour on a high
The third T20I might go down as a dead-rubber. But, not for Pakistan. A clean-sweep may not topple them for the number one spot in the T20I ranking, but to a certain extent, it will take away their bragging rights of being the best side in the format.
For two matches in a row, Pakistan, after keeping the chase alive till the penultimate ball, failed to cross the line. The targets, on both instances, were on the higher side as they are expected to be in South Africa. But, that the South African batsmen were allowed to score freely is worrisome for a side that has developed a reputation for winning matches on the basis of its bowling.
After conceding 187 on a slow Johannesburg wicket, on which Pakistan's bowlers were anticipated to wreak havoc as they have done in the UAE, Mickey Arthur was vocal about his bowling unit's failure to execute the set plans. On a wicket that asked the pacers to roll their fingers on the ball - like what the South African pacers did - Pakistan's pacers, especially Hasan Ali and Usman Khan, bowled seam-up deliveries which were duly sent to the leg-side boundary. According to Arthur's assessment, Pakistan gave away 64 runs from short balls when the plan was to bowl wicket-to-wicket.
South Africa's bowling attack have their own problems especially after Babar Azam carted them around with a 58-ball 90. But, Lutho Sipamla's impeccable bowling - that saw him return 0 for 23 off four - was a big positive.
That they have sealed the series within two matches in the absence of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, and Faf du Plessis (in the second match) is in itself a massive achievement for South Africa and it speaks volumes of their bench strength.
Centurion has hosted only three T20Is in the last four years and the scores in them, except for the India-South Africa affair last year, haven't been on the higher side.
When: February 6, 2019, 6:00 PM local time, 9:30 PM IST
Where: Supersport Park, Centurion
What to expect: Going by the pattern in the series so far, another high-scoring affair is expected.
South Africa: The hosts will look to continue with their rotation policy and might hand 20-year-old Wiaan Mulder a T20I debut.
Probable XI: Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller(c), Heinrich Klaasen/ Gihahn Cloete (w), Wiaan Mulder/Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi
Pakistan: After Usman Khan's abysmal show with the ball at the bullring, Mohammad Amir is likely to return to the Pakistan XI. The hosts might also look to include Mohammad Hafeez - who didn't feature in the first two games due to a hamstring niggle - at the expense of Asif Ali.
Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Shoaib Malik(c), Asif Ali/Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan(w), Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Usman Shinwari/Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi
Did you know?
Babar Azam's average of 55.19 is the best amongst batsmen with at least 20 innings under their belt in the format.
This was Pakistan's first loss in a bilateral T20I series since the 2016 T20 WC.
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