South Africa versus Pakistan one-day international (ODI) series has turned out to be a memorable one as the five-match series is already tied at 2-2.
Both teams have headed to Newlands, Cape Town for the final decisive match with the stakes as high as ever with the series on the line on Wednesday, January 30.
Down and out after rain denied them an opportunity to defend a good score, Pakistan bounced back brilliantly to level the series.
South Africa will be hoping for some better performances from veteran cricketers including Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis.
The only player to have not featured in the series is Aiden Markram and could be given go-ahead instead of Hashim Amla, who could rest after a hectic few months.
For Pakistan, after an astounding win in the Pink ODI, the team will be tempted under the captaincy of Shoaib Malik leading the side in the absence of regular captain, Sarfraz Ahmed.
Usman Khan and Mohammed Amir might play in the last ODI. Shaheen Afridi could be left out for Hasan Ali as per the rotation policy.
Usman Khan – the young Pakistani pacer was really lethal in the fourth ODI as he dismantled the South African batting attack with four wickets in the middle overs. Usman Khan’s second spell certainly did most of the damage with the hosts sitting precariously at 156/5 in the 35th over.
Date: Wednesday January 29, 2019
Timing: 01:00 AM Local Time and 04:00 PM PKT
Venue: The Wanderers, Johannesburg
Weather: Rain is, unfortunately, forecast in Johannesburg, and could once again play spoilsport come Sunday, making the toss crucial.
Conditions / Pitch Report:Though the records at the venue are in favour of the team batting first, the trend in this series suggests something different. Chasing has been preferred so far and it might continue on Wednesday as well. The temperatures will hover in the early 20s throughout the day and the wind blowing might help the seamers a bit.
Head to Head:
Matches: 77 | South Africa: 49 | Pakistan: 27 | NR: 1
South Africa: L W W L W (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: W L L W W
After the performance in Johannesburg, it would be tempting to let the same bunch of players go out again. Form continues to elude Fakhar Zaman, but Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur a big fan of his talents, he is expected to start once more.
Mohammad Rizwan who finally got an international game after two years in Johannesburg, thanks to Sarfraz’s absence. While he didn’t get much of a chance to show his abilities with the bat, his glovework did come in for praise from several quarters.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Babar Azam, 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:
The Proteas have called up young all-rounder Wiaan Mulder to the squad for the final ODI against Pakistan at Newlands on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Mulder has previously played seven ODI’s for the national team, with a top-score of 19* and taken seven wickets.
After playing all five ODI’s against Sri Lanka during the winter, the Highveld Lions prodigy unfortunately injured his ankle during the Zimbabwe series back in September last year.
The injury kept Mulder on the sidelines for three months and only returned to full fitness at the start of January. After a disappointing return, when he was dismissed for a duck in his first innings back, Mulder has improved steadily.
He recently claimed 4/40 against the Titans before striking a career-best 146 against the Knights in Bloemfontein last week.
Mulder will contest the all-rounder’s place with his Lions teammate Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo for the series decider.
South Africa’s Probable XI:
1.Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Rassie van der Dussen, 3. Hashim Amla, 4. Faf du Plessis (c), 5.Reeza Hendricks, 6. David Miller, 7. Andile Phehlukwayo / Wiaan Mulder, 8. Dale Steyn, 9.Beuran Hendricks, 10. Tabraiz Shamsi,, 11. Kagiso Rabada
Players to watch:
1. Imam-ul-Haq – Batsman, Pakistan
What a series, Imam Ul-Haq is having in South Africa. In the 3rd ODI, the southpaw opener brought his fourth ODI century as he powered Pakistan to a big total at the Centurion. Imam-Ul-Haq’s innings personified maturity and composure as he brought up his century. He looks to be in good touch and could be Pakistan’s hope for 4th ODI.
2. Reeza Hendricks – Batsman, South Africa
South Africa needed someone to play an innings according to the DLS stipulations. 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. Dale Steyn – Bowler, South Africa
Steyn has been playing well in patches due to the injuries he has had off late. But the South African pacer will know that he has to be in top shape with the World Cup fast approaching. In the third ODI, Steyn picked up two wickets at an economy rate of less than five. Steyn is one of the best bowlers in the world and can dismantle any batting attack on his day.
4. Babar Azam – Batsman, Pakistan
Babar Azam was Pakistan’s answer for Virat Kohli. So it was thought, but with a recent dip in form, Azam hasn’t been reaching the levels we all thought he would. But it was good to see Azam bat in the third ODI. He looked confident and was slowly hitting the right blocks for his half-century. Azam may be just getting into form and could prove vital for your Fantasy Cricket team.
Here’s what Captains have to say:
“It’s a big game but it’s important we don’t make it bigger than it already is. When we make it a big thing, we possibly don’t bring the best out of ourselves as a team”
Faf du Plessis believes South Africa don’t need to put any extra pressure on themselves
“We’re trying to give opportunities to those players who we think are going to participate in the World Cup. Playing some cricket in South Africa against a good side is a great opportunities”
Shoaib Malik reveals the World Cup isn’t far from anyone’s mind as they approach the final
Stats and trivia:
- Mohammad Amir last bowled a full ten overs in ODI cricket against Sri Lanka in Cardiff in the group stages of the 2017 Champions Trophy. In the 13 matches he’s played since, he has bowled nine overs just twice.