Venue: Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore
Date: Saturday, February 13th
- Pakistan – 0.44
- South Africa – 1.75
The home side is leading this three match T20 series 1-0 following the narrow three runs win on Friday where Mohammad Rizwan became the second Pakistan batsmen to score a hundred in this format. During his well-taken knock, Rizwan contributed more than 60 percent of the Pakistan total of 169/6 with South Africa coming agonisingly three runs shy of reaching that target in their reply. South Africa, who have lost their last five T20s, started with promise with openers Reeza Hendricks and Janneman Malan sharing a partnership of 53 off 42 but the rest of the batting line-up collapsed with no notable scores. The highlight for Proteas was that they showed considerable improvement with their fielding to make up for the horror show of the two Tests in Karachi and Rawalpindi where they dropped at least seven catches.
The Pakistani think tank are expected to stick to the same team that beat South Africa on Friday because the positives far outweigh the negatives. One of the areas where they will have to improve is during the powerplay where they lost two wickets and scored only 45 runs. They will also be hoping that inspirational captain Babar Azam find his scoring touch as he was dismissed during the second ball of the innings without scoring. To wrap up the series with one match to spare on Sunday, Pakistan will also be hoping that centurion Mohammad Rizwan is once again on top form together with bowlers Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah and Mohammad Nawaz.
The Proteas started the chase with promise where Reeza Hendricks and Janneman Malan laid a solid foundation with a partnership of 53 but the rest of the batters failed dismally as they were dismissed cheaply. An improved performance will be needed by the batsmen with big performances expected from the likes of Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo. The same goes for the bowlers who struggled with consistency apart from spinner Tabraiz Shamsi who was tight despite the dew in the outfield. Proteas significantly improved their fielding but they will rue the fact that Andile Phehlukwayo and Jacques Snyman dropped centurion Mohammad Rizwan twice in the nineties.
The wicket is expected to be slow at the Gaddafi Stadium but South African seamers will be able to acclimitise and vary their bowling get the Pakistan batsmen. South Africa used seven bowlers to mixed results in the first match and they only introduced frontline operators Junior Dala and Tabraiz Shamsi during the middle of the innings and it remains to be seen how they are going to attack Pakistan. The home side will once again be favourites because they are flying high having already beaten South Africa in three successive matches including two Tests and the first T20. Their talisman Babar Azam was bowled without scoring on Friday and he will be looking to make amends and help his country to wrap up the series with a match to spare.