Desperate Pakistan take on in-form South Africa - Match Preview

Can Sarfraz Ahmed inspire his team to win after suffering a massive defeat against India?
Can Sarfraz Ahmed inspire his team to win after suffering a massive defeat against India?
©REUTERS
 

Match details:

7th Match, Group B - Pakistan v South Africa
7th June, 13:30 local, 12:30 GMT, Edgbaston

In a desperate attempt to stay alive in the tournament, Pakistan will be locking horns with South Africa in the Group B clash of ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The battle is also between the top ranked team and the bottom ranked team with Pakistan barely making it to the top eight after edging out West Indies. They were slammed for the lacklustre approach against arch-rivals India in the opening game which saw them go down by 124 runs (DLS method). The death bowling let them down considerably in the game against India and they have lost their seasoned campaigner Wahab Riaz due to injury with Junaid Khan likely to make a comeback. Also Ahmed Shehzad was dropped from the XI and the team management has already announced Fakhar Zaman as his replacement.

Considering the margin of defeat against India, they need a massive win here to remain alive and more importantly to gain their confidence back which has been dented badly. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik need to step up, if they are to challenge the Proteas.

South Africa are coming on the back of not so confidence performance with the bat against Sri Lanka where they were tested in a slow pitch even though Hashim Amla and Faf u Plessis were among the runs. Rare failures to Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers led them to a spot of bother but late flourish from JP Duminy and Chris Morris helped them post 299 on the board. Even though the Sri Lankan openers got off to a blistering start in the chase, it was Imran Tahir, who once again brought the Proteas in the game with a four-wicket haul.

With the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell and Morne Morkel along with all-rounders Morris and Dwaine Pretorius, without doubt, they are a formidable unit on the pace front as seen in the third ODI against England.

Qualification Scenarios Explained:

For Pakistan - Their defeat in the first game meant, their net-run-rate has gone down to -3.024 and for them to reach the next stage, they need two massive wins against South Africa and Sri Lanka and hope for other results to turn their way.

For South Africa - Started the tournament with a convincing win against Sri Lanka and a win here will more or less confirm a place in the semi-final as they possess a superior net-run-rate as compared to Angelo Mathews' men and Pakistan.

Head to Head:

Pakistan are yet to win a game against South Africa in the Champions Trophy tournaments previously despite facing them two times. In the overall record, they have managed to win just 24 games from 72 matches with South Africa holding the upper hand here too with 47 victories.

Probable Team:

South Africa: 1. Hashim Amla, 2. Quinton de Kock (wk), 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. AB de Villiers (captain), 5. David Miller, 6. JP Duminy, 7. Chris Morris, 8. Andile Phelukwayo, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Wayne Parnell, 11. Imran Tahir.

Pakistan: 1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Azhar Ali, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (wk) (captain), 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Mohammad Amir, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Junaid Khan, 11. Shadab Khan

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