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SA vs PAK, 2nd ODI: Hosts looks to level series

Match: South Africa vs Pakistan (SA vs PAK, 2nd ODI)

Date: April 4, 2021

Venue: Wanderers Stadium – Johannesburg, South Africa

After a close encounter in the first ODI, the two teams meet each other on Sunday for the second game of the series. Both teams had centurions in the first game, with Rassie van der Dussen smashing an unbeaten 123 in 134 deliveries, with a vital contribution from David Miller. In reply, Babar Azam led the run chase as he hit 103 in 104 balls to take Pakistan over the line. He was aided by Imam ul-Haq. 

With the ball, it was Faheem Ashraf who was the most impressive as he returned with an economy rate of just 2.78 – the best among bowlers from both sides. 

The game, however, was a roller coaster as Pakistan could only manage 17 from the final 3 overs, with 5 dots in the last 2 overs. Thus, considering their track record of being unpredictable, one can never consider them the favourites. We can, however, expect a cracker of a game that will see the IPL-bound players for the last time on this tour.

Weather Update and Pitch Report of SA vs PAK, 2nd ODI

The temperature will hover around the 25 degree Celsius mark, with plenty of sunshine in the mid afternoon. There will be some cloud cover during the start of the game.

The venue might not be pacey, but it will have plenty of help for the fast bowlers upfront. Batting will get easier, and we expect the team that wins the toss to chase here. 

SA Expected XI and Team News:

Though the South African team lost the last game, they ran the Pakistanis close, which gives them no reason to tinker with the XI. We expect Temba Bavuma to step onto the field with the same side.

X Factors: 

Kagiso Rabada: The South African pacer has been a match-winner for the team in the last few seasons. He was bowling with pace in the last game, but will be eager to return with wickets this time around. 

Probable XI: 

Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c) , Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi

PAK Expected XI and Team News:

The Pakistan team have named a 18 member squad for the series against South Africa. However, we do not see them making changes to their XI after successfully chasing down 274 in the last match.

X Factors: 

Imam ul Haq: The youngster has fast emerged as a match winner for the team, with an average of nearing 53 after 41 One Day Internationals. He scored a crucial fifty in the last game, and will be eager to carry forward his form.

Probable XI: 

Imam ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c) , Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf

Head to Head record of SA vs PAK: 

Overall: The two teams have played each other 80 times in the history of One Day Internationals, with South Africa having a superior record, having won 50 matches. Pakistan have won 29, with one game ending in a Tie. 

Player match ups:

Quinton de Kock vs Shaheen Afridi: Undoubtedly, the battle between the two players will be crucial in determining which way the game tilts. Overall, Shaheen Afridi has picked the Proteas opener twice, including dismissing him in the last game. De Kock has managed to score runs at a strike rate of 82.69 against the Pakistani in the format thus far. 

Babar Azam vs Tabraiz Shamsi: If the Pakistani skipper gets his eye in, he could tear apart the South African spinners in the middle overs. He has an excellent record against Shamsi, scoring runs at a rate of more than 110 against him, and is yet to lose a wicket to him. The Proteas, however, was economical in the last game and conceded only three fours.

Statistic Preview:

  • Shaheen Afridi is just three wickets shy of completing 50 scalps in One Day Internationals. Currently, the Pakistani pacer has 47 wickets after  22 innings at an average of 22.02 and an economy rate of just over 5. 
  • Rassie van der Dussen will be the key player for the team yet again. He has an astonishing average of 83 in the format thus far in 17 innings. 
  • Babar Azam has crossed the fifty run mark in the last three ODIs that he has played, including two successive hundreds. 
  • Fakar Zaman needs another 32 runs to cross the landmark of 2000 runs in ODI cricket.

Match prediction of SA vs PAK, 2nd ODI: 

The South Africans ran Pakistan close in the last game, and they will be confident of getting over the line on Sunday. 

MPL Fantasy XI: 

Quinton de Kock, Babar Azam, Imam ul Haq, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi

Captain and vice-captain selection:

Quinton de Kock: The former skipper of the side will be eager to get his team off to a flier before he flies down to India for the Indian Premier League. Overall, de Kock has scored 15 tons in the format and is unstoppable when he gets going.

Babar Azam: The key player is a must pick in the MPL fantasy team. He has 13 tons to his name in 78 One Dayers, and is currently the second best ODI batsman in the world, only behind Virat Kohli. He led the charge with a brilliant hundred in the last game, and will have the onus of carrying forward the form.

Also Read: NZ-W vs AUS-W, 1st ODI: A close series on the cards

Sarah Warishttps://www.mpl.live/
A postgraduate in English Literature, I have taken on the tough task of limiting the mystic world of cricket to a few hundred words

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