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Agencies
April 7, 2021

Pakistan eye series win against depleted SA

Sports

A
Agencies
April 7, 2021

CENTURION: Pakistan seek to win a series against a top-seven ODI team for the first time since 2013 when they beat South Africa 2-1 as the two sides meet in the series decider here on Wednesday (today).

Pakistan’s middle and lower middle order will have to raise their game as most of the runs in the first two ODIs came from the top three — Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq and Babar Azam.

Pakistan bowlers will also have to better than they have done so far. While Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasnain have all managed to take wickets, they have been quite expensive, each conceding more than six runs per over.

In the first ODI, Haris got rid of David Miller immediately after he reached fifty; in the second, he accounted for both de Kock and Temba Bavuma as they went in search of boundaries. Haris and Hasnain have conceded at 6.3 runs an over.

For South Africa, this is the chance to claim a third trophy in nine series under coach Mark Boucher, and a second this summer, but they will be without almost half of their first-choice players. Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have left the squad for the IPL which means a complete change to the pace pack.

Pakistan failed to chase the big total scored by South Africa in the second ODI but showed enough fight and will fancy their chances against a less-experienced South African attack in the decider.

With the three main quicks gone, South Africa will lose out on the combined experience of 114 ODI caps. The replacements, likely to be Lutho Sipamla, Daryn Dupavillon and one of Beuran Hendricks or Junior Dala have a total of 14 caps between them, so Pakistan could see that as a potential area to exploit.

Aiden Markram will have a new opening partner with Janneman Malan getting an opportunity after many considered him unlucky to miss out in the first place. Kyle Verreynne will replace David Miller with Heinrich Klaasen likely to remain at No 6 and take over the wicketkeeping duties.

Pakistan have one enforced change after Shadab Khan was ruled out of the tour with a toe injury. Usman Qadir is most likely to step into his place. They may also make a change to their No. 6 position, with Asif Ali’s scores of 19 and 2 necessitating a switch. Haider Ali could earn his third ODI cap. Hasan Ali, who was declared fit ahead of the series but has yet to play a game, could also be called on in place of Hasnain.