Pakistan will look to rebound from their first ODI loss to South Africa when the two teams meet in the second game at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, October 31. South Africa have now won three games in a row and lead 1-0 in the ODI series. Pakistan’s dreadful batting continues to haunt them badly and captain Shahid Afridi would have been left with not too many excuses. South Africa, on the other hand, look so well-prepared that it looks like they could go the distance in the World Cup.
The batting had shown signs of improvement in the last game for Pakistan but their habit to collapse took over in the last five overs of the innings. However, before that collapse ensued, Younis Khan had made a rocking return to international cricket while Mohammad Hafeez had managed to keep his critics at bay for some more time. What Pakistan needs is for their middle-order to combine a couple of things – start off positively and carry on and convert their starts into something substantial enough for them to explode in the later overs. Misbah ul Haq prefers this format of the game to the pace of T20s, but will need to get a move on in the middle overs.
South Africa’s batting has proved its worth on the tour so far and almost everyone has come to the party. Their worry will be from the injury’s front, with Graeme Smith almost ruled out with a hand injury while question marks over Jacques Kallis inclusion. Hashim Amla’s role will become even more important in the eventuality that either or both do not make it to the playing eleven and he will need support from the previous game’s half centurion AB de Villiers. The visitors will be heavy favourites to win this game, unless Pakistan can come up with an un-Pakistan-like batting performance, things could go worse for them.
Match Timings: Oct 31, 2010 (15:00 local | 11:00 GMT | 16:30 IST)
Pakistan (probable): 1 Asad Shafiq, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Fawad Alam / Umar Akmal, 6 Shahid Afridi (capt), 7 Abdul Razzaq, 8 Zulqarnain Haider (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Shoaib Akhtar, 11 Saeed Ajmal.
South Africa (probable): 1 Graeme Smith (capt) / Colin Ingram, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 AB de Villiers (wk), 4 JP Duminy, 5 Jacques Kallis / Albie Morkel, 6 David Miller, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Robin Peterson, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Charl Langeveldt.
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