Cricket World Cup: South Africa vs Pakistan
Venue: Lord’s, London.
Date: Sunday 23rd June 2019
Things are looking bleak for South Africa at the Cricket World Cup following their tight defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston. Faf du Plessis’ side sit 8th in the table – having only won one of their 6 games played and they are now relying on other results to have any distant hop of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition. They take on Pakistan next at Lords, who find themselves in a similar position – having only won one of their 5 games played and they too will be eager to pick up some much needed points here. With so much at stake for both sides, this could be one of the matches of the tournament so far in front of what is sure to be a capacity crowd at the ‘home of cricket’.
South Africa’s only win of the competition so far came against Afghanistan and their most recent defeat to New Zealand highlighted their relative struggles in the batting department. As a team, they have only passed 300 once – a score that came in vein against Bangladesh and they have yet to have a centurion at this Cricket World Cup. With the ball, the likes Imran Tahir, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada have caused problems for opposition line-ups but with not many runs to defend, their task has proved to be rather difficult so far.
Pakistan will still be reeling from their painstaking defeat to India at Old Trafford last time out and they have lacked consistency so far at this World Cup. Their only win came over hosts and favourites England but with winnable games against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Afghanistan still to come, they will be hoping to put a win on the board here and potentially sneak into the top the four places in the table.
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South Africa have really struggled to get off to flying starts so far in this World Cup and despite decent form being displayed from Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, Pakistan look more likely to make the more vibrant start.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis looked in decent form against New Zealand before being undone by an unbelievable delivery from Kiwi paceman Lockie Ferguson and he will be hoping to lead from the front here in what is a huge game for both his captaincy and his country.
Despite not necessarily being at his best so far at this edition of the Cricket World Cup, Kagiso Rabada is South Africa’s premiere bowler and he will enjoy the slope at Lords and could be too hot for the Pakistan batsmen to handle..
Babar Azam is one of the most talented batsmen in world cricket and he has already registered two centuries and three 50’s so far during his time in England this summer. He looked good for his 48 against India too and he could go well here.
With another 3-wicket haul against India last time out, Mohammed Amir took his tally of wickets for the World Cup to 13 in just 4 games played and he will be looking to go hard at the South African batsmen here.
This is a must-win game for both sides in the context of their respective World Cup campaigns. South Africa have really struggled throughout the competition whilst Pakistan have been on the receiving end of some good performances and for that reason should have a certain amount of confidence going into this one. With a passionate crowd sure to be in full voice at Lords, Pakistan represent good value at 1.10 to win the match.
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