After an eventful ODI series, the action now comes in the form of three highly anticipated T20 Internationals between the top ranked team in the world, Pakistan, and hosts South Africa.
With South Africa already winning the Test and ODI series, Pakistan have one last chance to get over the hosts in a format in which they feel the most comfortable.
With several players being rested by the South Africans, the onus falls on the youngsters to come up with the goods against a formidable Pakistan team. With the match set to be held in Cape Town itself, another competitive match is on the cards between the two highly talented sides.
Now, the focus now shifts to the three-match T20I series which will begin when Pakistan face South Africa at the same venue on Friday, February 01.
Date: Friday February 01, 2019
Timing: 06:00 PM Local Time and 09:00 PM PKT
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Weather: The weather is set to be fair and Sunny for most of the day with highs of 26c but there is a small chance of further disruptions due to rain.Sunny for most of the day with highs of 26c but there is a small chance of further disruptions due to rain.
Conditions / Pitch Report: A high-scoring encounter. is expected South Africa have a terrible T20I record in Newlands, winning just three of the 17 games played here. Newlands has seen big scores over the past few T20Is with a number of them chased down. What a particular team decides to do upon winning the toss may rest more on their individual strengths, with weather unlikely to play spoilsport.
Head to Head:
Matches: 11 | South Africa: 6 | Pakistan: 5 | NR: 0
South Africa: W W W L L (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: W W W W W
Pakistan, whose potency in this format has taken them to the top of the world rankings, will once again be led by Shoaib Malik in the absence of Sarfraz Ahmed.
Sarfraz has led Pakistan to 11 T20 series wins in a row but remains banned for making a racist remark about Andile Phehlukwayo.
The selectors are likely to have to choose between Hussain Talat and Imad Wasim, while Mohammad Rizwan will take the gloves.
Pakistan come into this T20 series as the top-ranked team in the world in this format of the game and having won 17 of their last 18 T20 international matches so confidence is superb despite having lost the Test and ODI series.
The team will not be too dissimilar to that which which ended the ODI series although they will be skippered by Shoaib Malik and they may consider rejigging the batting order with the in-form Imad Wasim potentially coming up the order for some pinch-hitting.
Hussain Talat is one candidate to come into the side as he offers another part-time bowling option with Mohammad Amir possibly making way, while Mohammad Rizwan is under some pressure to perform and take advantage of this opportunity in Sarfraz Ahmed’s absence.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Babar Azam, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Asif Ali, 5. Shoaib Malik (c), 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Mohammad Amir, 10. Usman Khan Shinwari, 11. Shaheen Shah Afridi
2. South Africa:
Seamer Lutho Sipamla could make his South Africa debut in Friday’s opening T20 international against Pakistan, at Cape Town.
Sipamla, 20, was called into the squad after impressing for Eastern Province and Spartans in the Manzai Super League.
The Proteas, ranked fifth in the world T20 standings, could also include Beuran Hendricks after the seamer added two ODI caps to his previous seven T20 appearances in the recent series.
Despite leaving him out of the final ODI after some poor form, David Miller is in the squad and they will look to him, De Kock and Du Plessis for some big hitting to match the tourists who have been in superb form in this format and can score at impressive strike rates.
South Africa are resting their experienced bowling attack so Steyn, Rabada, Philander and Tahir are all left out as they have called up talented youngster Lutho Sipamla and the likes of Beuren Hendricks, Junior Dala and Tabraiz Shamsi are all expected to play.
South Africa’s Probable XI:
1.Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Rassie van der Dussen, 3.Chris Morris, 4. Faf du Plessis (c), 5.Reeza Hendricks, 6. David Miller, 7. Andile Phehlukwayo, 8. Junior Dala, 9. Beuran Hendricks, 10. Tabraiz Shamsi,, 11. Lutho Sipamla
Players to watch:
1. Faf du Plessis – Batsman, South Africa
South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis is a utility player. While there may be someone who steals the spotlight, du Plessis has been very consistent for South Africa. Batting a little down the order, du Plessis reads the game very well and tunes his batting accordingly.
2. Reeza Hendricks – Batsman, South Africa
South Africa needed someone to play an innings according to the Situations. Reeza Hendricks did just that as he paced himself between rain interruptions which helped South Africa cross the finish line. Hendricks is a good prospect for South Africa and is only getting into the groove now. He is a batsman whose confidence is growing each day and is an impact player for the Proteas.
3. Shadab Khan – Bowler, Pakistan
20-year-old, Shadab Khan, is on the opposite spectrum as far as international experience goes. Pakistan’s leading limited-overs legspinner is over five months younger than Sipamla, but has played 68 international matches.
4. Fakhar Zaman – Batsman, Pakistan
Another player who had a quite tour but shined in the last game was Pakistan’s right-handed opener, Fakhar Zaman. While Imam-Ul-Haq has been turning it around for Pakistan, Zaman played a well-built 70 as he took Pakistan to a decent total. With the momentum currently on his side, we can certainly expect Zaman to make a difference in the first T20I at the same venue.
Stats and trivia:
- South Africa are one of the two sides against which Pakistan have a negative win/loss ratio, the other team is India.
- Pakistan have played three T20Is at this venue and were victorious in all three of them.
92 – Mohammad Hafeez has scored 1908 runs in his T20I career. He needs 92 more runs to complete 2,000 T20I runs.