Pakistan-South Africa Fourth ODI Preview
Pakistan will hoping they can produce some cricketing magic to deny the South Africans the series today.
South Africa lead Pakistan 2-1 in the series so far, after a nail-biting two-run victory in the last fixture that ended in favor of the Proteas.
Pakistan won the second game of the series, thanks to a superb innings from all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who smashed his way to 109 not out from just 72 balls, including seven fours and 10 huge sixes. If Pakistan are to level the series they will need to find another performance like this from their ranks.
Younus Khan has been drafted back into the team to offer his immense skill and experience to the side. However, he was unable to contribute with the bat in the third ODI, scoring nought from seven deliveries. If Pakistan are to win this decisive game, they will need Younus to be on top of his game.
With top order batsman Asad Shafiq making his only major contribution of 43 before being run out in the last game, the inexperienced batsman finds himself under pressure as Pakistan have been struggling to reach the South African targets.
By comparison young South African Colin Ingram hit 100 in the second ODI of the series to cement his place in the side. He is part of the trio of left-handers that South Africa will be relying on in the middle-order to dominate the Pakistani bowlers.
However with pace man Shoaib Akhtar peaking in the series as he blasted out three South African batsmen in the last game South Africa will need to be weary of the vastly experienced fast bowler.
Pakistan have been struggling to contain the South African batsmen in the middle overs, mainly due to the diminished form of talented off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. He has only managed to take two wickets - in the first game of the series - and has gone wicketless since. Pakistan will need Ajmal to support Mohammed Hafeez with the ball so that there is pressure created consistently.
If Pakistan can win the game over the efficient South Africans then they may be on the verge of regaining the momentum they need to take the winning mentality to in to the impending Test Series.
© Cricket World 2010