South Africa have already sealed the fate of their three-match T20I series against Pakistan 2-0 after winning the first two games in Durban and Johannesburg respectively.
The third T20I might go down as a dead-rubber. But, not for Pakistan. A clean-sweep may not topple them for the number one spot in the T20I ranking, but to a certain extent, it will take away their bragging rights of being the best side in the format.
Pakistan will be hoping to finish their tour to South Africa on a high when the teams meet for the third and final T20I in Centurion.
The Proteas clinched the 20-over series with a seven-run win in Johannesburg after a dramatic collapse by the visitors saw them lose 6-34 in 24 balls.
It condemned Pakistan to their first T20I series loss in 12, with the No 1 ranked 20-over team having won 11 matches on the bounce prior to their six-run defeat in the first game in Cape Town.
David Miller will remain as captain, having led the side in the second match in the absence of usual skipper Faf du Plessis, who has been rested for the last two games of the series
Date: Wednesday February 06, 2019
Timing: 06:00 PM Local Time and 09:00 PM PKT
Venue: Supersport Park, Centurion
Weather: The weather is expected to be perfect for cricket with mild temperatures and a very low chance of rain.
Conditions / Pitch Report: Going by the pattern in the series so far, another high-scoring affair is expected. The pitch mo
stly favours the team batting first as only two matches at the ground were won by the chasing team.
Head to Head:
Matches: 13 | South Africa: 8 | Pakistan: 5 | NR: 0
South Africa: W W W W W (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: L L W W W
After disappointing losses in the Test and One-Day International series, Pakistan would have harboured hopes of a much-improved show in their favourite format, where they are the No.1 side in the world.
Pakistan batsmen’s biggest nemesis has been Andile Phehlukwayo. Using crafty, deceptive slower balls mixed up with the occasional yorker, Phehlukwayo has managed to keep the explosive Pakistan batsmen at bay. He masterfully defended 15 off the final over in the previous game, conceding just seven runs and taking a couple of wickets too.
Pakistan will need to find ways to counter that threat better. Another man they will be wary of is stand-in captain David Miller. His stunning performance in the field (four catches and two run-outs) earned him the Player of the Match in the first game.
The visitors may rope in Mohammad Amir in place of Hasan Ali, who was expensive in Johannesburg. Babar Azam and Hussain Talat have got the runs, but it’s time for the other batters to lend them support so there are chances that Pakistan may also try Sahibzada Farhan.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Sahibzada Farhan, 2. Babar Azam, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Hussain Talat, 5. Shoaib Malik (c), 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Shadab Khan, 9.Hasan Ali, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Shaheen Shah Afridi
2. South Africa:
The Proteas may replace Andile Phehlukwayo with Willem Mulder. Malan and Reeza Hendricks would continue the batting with the in-form Rassie van der Dussen at number three.
Andile Phehlukwayo has led the way with superb changes of pace and the occasional Yorker but he has been well supported by Beuran Hendericks and Chris Morris.
Young quick Lutho Sipamla impressed on his debut at the Wanderers and Proteas fans should be treated to another sighting of the Warriors paceman at SuperSport Park.
South Africa’s Probable XI:
1.Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 2. Rassie van der Dussen, 3.Jaaneman Malan, 4. Wiaan Mulder, 5. Reeza Hendricks, 6. David Miller (c), 7. Andile Phehlukwayo, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Beuran Hendricks, 10. Tabraiz Shamsi,, 11. Lutho Sipamla
Players to watch:
1. David Miller – Batsman, South Africa
South Africa skipper David Miller is a utility player. While there may be someone who steals the spotlight, Miller has been very consistent for South Africa. Batting a little down the order, Miller 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. Babar Azam – Batsman, Pakistan
The right-hander has been making this column frequently in recent times, but it can’t be helped when he’s in that kind of form. Through the Tests, ODIs and T20Is, he has been Pakistan’s most consistent batsman and he will want to close out the series with a fllourish.
Stats and trivia:
- The last time Pakistan failed to win any game in a three-match T20I series was against England in the UAE in November 2015. Pakistan lost the first two games outright, before losing the third via a Super Over.
- Shoaib Malik has lost five out of his last six T20Is as captain.