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|PJ van Biljon||42||32||3||2||131.25|
Another day and another disappointing result for South Africa. The Proteas started off their limited-overs campaign against Pakistan with a narrow win in a match they looked to be ahead for the most part. With this narrow win, they now trail 0-1 in the three-match series and will need to register a win in the upcoming match to keep the series alive.
Pakistan, on the other hand, will be relieved to survive the scare. After three back-to-back wins at home, albeit in a different format, they'll be brimming with confidence. Considering that South Africa almost toppled them in the first match, Pakistan will want to put in more effort in the upcoming match. The second match of the series is to be played at the Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore, on Saturday, 13th February 2021.
With a three-run win, Pakistan survived a real scare, but they would be happy that they somehow managed to scrape home. It were their bold instincts that got them 1-0 in the series despite being behind halfway through the second innings of the match. The win was remarkable on the basis that they won despite their main players putting in massive strides.
Batting first, Pakistan got off to the worst possible start as they lost Babar Azam for naught in a rather unfortunate manner. Although they managed to scare a few mini-partnerships, there was no partnership that seemingly took the game away from the opposition. That proved to be the main reason for Pakistan finishing with a subpar score in spite of Mohammad Rizwan scoring a fabulous hundred. Rizwan looked fluent right through the innings and topped-up his recent test hundred with yet another hundred in this T20I match. Other than his performance though, Pakistan will be pretty disappointed with the way their batsmen went about their business.
If Pakistan's batsmen cost them the game, their bowlers certainly brought redeemed it back. Even though their fast bowlers could not do significant damage upfront, Usman Qadir bowled a terrific spell that just rocked Proteas back. His spell robbed the visitors of all the momentum that they had and cost them the match.
All in all, playing at home certainly helped Pakistan as the Proteas found scoring difficult once the ball got older. Pakistan have a great team on paper, but they lacked execution in the first match and unless they improve in the second match, that might come back to bit them. Babar Azam is due for a big knock and will be itching to go out. A lot will rely on Pakistan's batting and their batsmen can manage things well, Pakistan certainly have a bowling unit that can keep even the best in the business quiet.
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Haider Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Qadir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
South Africa did a lot better than many expected them to do considering that they were playing without their stalwarts. Having said that, the lack of experience was well apparent and was arguably the cause of their loss as well. They looked pretty much in control for the most part of the match but allowed it to slip just when in mattered the most.
Chasing an under-par total, South African batsmen did exceedingly well to not only survive the initial burst but to also score at a fairly rapid click. However, barring Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks, none of their batsmen managed to get going as South Africa conceded the match from a position of advantage. They had not lost a wicket till the seventh over but lost six in the next eleven overs. Fruitless knocks from Jacques Snyman and David Miller only added to their woes.
Even though Pakistan could not score even a par total, it wouldn't be right to say that it was all because of South Africa's bowling. They were good in patches but gave away too many lose deliveries in the middle overs that allowed Mohammad Rizwan to keep the momentum going for the hosts. Andile Phehlukwayo picked up a couple of wickets and Bjorn Fortuin, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Lutho Sipmala returned with a wicket each.
On paper, South Africa have a decent unit but just like their opponents, they lack experience in both departments of the game. The lack of experience of playing spinners on turning pitches proved to be the differentiating factor and it may hamper them in the upcoming match as well. The likes of David Miller, Heinrich Klassen, and Andile Phehlukwayo will be key for the Proteas in the upcoming match. If those players can handle the spinners well, the Proteas will stand a massive chance to level the series in this upcoming match.
Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, JJT Smuts, PJ van Biljon, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Glenton Stuurman, Lutho Sipamla, Tabraiz Shamsi.
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South Africa have had a sorry tournament thus far and will be desperate to get their first win. They did well for the major part of the first match, but it might not happen to be the case in the case in the second match. Pakistan, on the other hand, will feel lucky to escape even without putting in their best performance. We expect them to come back stronger in the upcoming match. They have the home advantage, a balanced team, and batsmen who are in prime form. Betting on a Pakistan win should be the way to go in the second match as well.
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