Pakistan vs South Africa
Lord’s Cricket Ground - London, England
June 23, 2019
10:30 AM BST
Preview: Pakistan and South Africa both have disappointed in this Cricket World Cup 2019, winning just one game thus far. Both sides also have seen a game being washed out due to rain as well. While Pakistan beat favourites England earlier in the competition, South Africa’s only win has come against Afghanistan.
After a disastrous start to their campaign, the Proteas needed to win their final four games if they wanted to qualify for the top four. However, a narrow defeat against New Zealand in their last game has meant that they are more or less out of the fray. Pakistan, on the other hand, need to win all their remaining matches and are still in with a chance of qualifying. However, based on their recent run, it seems a far cry.
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dwaine Pretorius, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir
Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock
There are various factors working in Quinton de Kock’s favour. Firstly, he opens the batting., and hence will get more chances of getting a big score as compared to Pakistan’s Sarfaraz Ahmed, who bats lower down the order. He is also one of the most aggressive batters in his team, and is the leading run-scorer for South Africa in the edition.
Batsmen: Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram
Rassie van der Dussen has hit two fifties in the tournament for South Africa and was in good form in the last game as well - top-scoring with an unbeaten 67. It was also his sixth half-century in 12 innings, and his consistency ensures that he gets a look-in. Faf du Plessis also showed flashes of his form last time around with some classy strokes, and the team will need him to kick on if they want to win here. Aiden Markram could be a differential in the team. He is likely to bat up the order, and so he could be a good bargain buy.
The two Pakistanis - Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq are dangerous, and though they have not shown their full capabilities with the bat, they are match-winners on their day. Imam was in fine form when the two countries last met in January and still averages over 55 in ODIs. Azam has been getting starts in the tournament, and it is only a matter of time before he converts it into a big knock.
All-rounders: Chris Morris
Chris Morris comes at only 8.5 credits, and, at that price, is a valuable player to pick. He can not only contribute with the bat but can also pick up some crucial wickets. He delivered some lusty blows against New Zealand and is also the team’s leading wicket-taker with nine.
Bowlers: Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi
Imran Tahir’s leg-spin has almost always fetched a few wickets. He has eight wickets in the edition so far, and can always be counted upon for breakthroughs. Lungi Ngidi comes cheap at 8.5 credits, and his pacy deliveries can be more than a handful against an inconsistent batting attack.
Mohammad Amir has taken full advantage of his late call-up to the World Cup squad with 13 wickets in four games, including best figures of 5 for 30 against Australia. He is not only Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker but his economy rate of 4.70 has ensured that he is one of the most dangerous bowlers. Riaz is the next best bowler for his team and will get some assistance from the conditions at Lord’s. He has bowled at a threatening pace in phases in this edition, and if he can be more consistent, will be one to watch out for.
Best bet: Quinton de Kock, Babar Azam
Alternatives: Imam-ul-Haq, Faf du Plessis