About the Match
Pakistan defeated South Africa by 66 runs in the second match and has leveled with them 1-1 in the 5 match ODI series. The two teams now face each other on Wednesday and will come out all guns blazing to dominate from here on. South Africa will look to make a comeback soon whereas Pakistan is high on confidence and will sharpen its skills to continue on the winning run. The contest will be interesting as both sides have the required armor to battle it out; whichever team succeeds to keep the nerves in check will emerge victorious.
The bowling unit led by McLaren and Morkel who claimed 7 wickets between them, was tight and restricted Pakistan to a score of 209 runs. Imran Tahir was superb giving away just 28 runs in total while Morkel and McLaren made early in-roads into the opponent’s batting line-up that was instrumental in disallowing Pakistan from reaching a massive target. With such an excellent first innings, the match looked favorable for South Africa but the batsmen collapsed against the superior Pakistani spinners. None of the batsmen found their ground; Smith and Duminy tried to build a partnership but couldn’t survive for long. It was a miserable run for the South Africans and will try their best to put this defeat behind them and rise above their weaknesses. The batsmen need to bounce back and hopefully with Hashim Amla’s return the unit will become stronger.
Mohammad Irfan’s 3-53 was splendid and with great support from Shahid Afridi who also took 3 wickets, made life difficult for South Africa; Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Hafeez bowled tightly and suffocated the opponents. Defending a low total, the Paksitan spinners did a brilliant job of demolishing South Africa in the 41st over itself. The team collectively put pressure on the South African batting line-up and successfully exploited their weakness to face spin and bowling variations. Earlier on in the first innings, the batsmen had a shaky start but Sehzad put up a 48 run partnership with Hafeez and later, along with the captain, put up another 60 runs on board. After Shehzad’s dismissal the batsmen failed to keep the runs flowing and ended up with just 209 runs in total. However, the bowlers more than made up for it and avenged their team’s shocking defeat in the previous match. The team exudes confidence and with their high spirits will look for another win here.
South African bowlers have been performing well but need to be backed up their experienced batsmen who have not yet brought their best into the series. Pakistan on the other hand is doing well in all the departments especially with their bowling finesse but needs to sharpen its batting skills from here on. With both sides having won a match each, this contest will be really important with regard to obtaining the psychological advantage for the remaining games. Though both teams will fight hard, I think South Africa will see improvement in their batting and will register a win.
South Africa, 1.73 @ William Hill