Match number 26 of the ODI World Cup, Pakistan vs South Africa, will take place at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday of this week. Both teams carry very little experience of playing the ODI format in the last year against each other and hence we expect an absolute thriller between the two.
After their loss against Afghanistan, Pakistan is currently at the 5th spot in the point table with two wins and a net run rate of -.400.
South Africa is comfortably sitting at the third spot in the point table with three wins and a loss while maintaining a net run rate of +2.212.
The ground in Chennai has seen over 240 runs in 4 of the last 5 matches.
The betting tip is...
First innings score: Over 250
There are some serious questions which need to be answered in the Pakistan camp after their shocking loss against Afghanistan. Pakistan has lost momentum and with three consecutive losses, things are becoming difficult for men in green.
Abdullah Shafique (58 off 75) and skipper Babar Azam (74 off 92) gave a positive start to the team while batting first but once their partnership was broken, the middle order was unable to maintain their wickets on the pitch.
Partnership Shadab Khan (40 off 38) and Iftikhar Ahmed (40 off 38) did give a push to the overall score at the lower end.
When it came to bowling, it was a complete disappointment. Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali picked up one wicket each but the rest of the bowling department completely failed to do their job. The spin attack was useless and couldn't stop the Afghanistan batters from completing the chase.
Shaheen Afridi, Mohammed Rizwan, and Imam-ul-Haq will be the key players for the team.
Predicted Lineup: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
The Proteas have found themselves in a good position in the tournament. After their shocking loss against the Netherlands, the team recovered well and has maintained their dominance. Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen have shown their brilliance at the top order.
The only concern for the team management at the top order is the consecutive failure of skipper Temba Bavuma. He is not in good form and also missed out on a fixture against England due to an illness.
In the middle order, Aiden Markram will be the key player with Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller. Miller’s experience of playing spin attack in the middle order will be useful for the team.
The bowling unit will be dependent on a good start from Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, and Marco Jansen. Gerald Coetzee has also shown positive signs in the past and will be useful in the middle overs. The spin attack is a major concern for the team as Keshav Maharaj has not made an impact yet.
Skipper Temba Bavuma has recovered from his illness and will be making a comeback to the team.
Predicted Lineup: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Gerald Coetzee.
Two evenly matched teams will be coming face to face in Chennai and hence it will be a neck-to-neck fixture. Pakistan is in desperate need of a win for a bright future in the tournament.
South Africa, on the other hand, has been dominant with their batting and their batters have decimated every bowling attack in the tournament.
We predict a win for South Africa on Friday.