Pakistan, South Africa meet in World Cup must-win match
LORD’S, London – Pakistan will aim for an improved performance as they face a must-win situation against South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.
South Africa’s chances of progressing to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-finals seem all but over after their narrow loss to New Zealand on Wednesday.
While their bowlers have troubled the opposition in each of the previous three occasions, the batsmen have failed to give them enough runs to play with. The Faf du Plessis-led side will look to produce performances similar to that of their series win against Pakistan earlier this year, when they take the field on Sunday.
After producing contrasting results in their first two matches, Pakistan’s performance has slipped in their last two games. While a batting failure handed them a 41-run defeat against Australia, lack of intensity and consistency in all the three departments resulted in an 89-run defeat against their arch-rivals, India.
Mohammad Amir has created an impact in his each outing so far, but has got little or no support from the other end. The batting too, barring the game against England, has failed on a consistent basis. Repeated failures of their experienced middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik might mean that Pakistan consider Haris Sohail for a spot in the playing eleven on Sunday.
Babar Azam (Pakistan): Babar Azam has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the World Cup so far, but is yet to put up a three digit score. Pakistan’s top ranked batsman in MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings, who scored a fluent 63 in his side’s only victory (against England) in the tournament so far, will have to shoulder the responsibility against a potent South African bowling unit.
Hashim Amla (South Africa): The veteran batsman has got starts in his last two games, but hasn’t quite been at his fluent best at the World Cup. Amla, whose last ODI hundred came against Pakistan earlier this year, will look to play a long innings on Sunday.
There will be intervals of clouds and sunshine with humidity and dryness through the day. Spinners had an impact in the second innings in the last ODI played at Lord’s in July 2018, and the dryness might once again help the slower bowlers as the game progresses on Sunday.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi. –ICC