South Africa dominated the Test series against Pakistan, recording an impressive 3-0 victory but the upcoming One Day International contest should be a lot more even as the ICC’s fourth-ranked team entertain the world’s fifth best fifty-over side. So who will come out on top?
The first ever One Day International meeting between South Africa and Pakistan took place in March 1992 during the Group phase of the World Cup and saw South Africa edge out the eventual champions with a 20-run victory thanks to a half century from Andrew Hudson.
South Africa vs Pakistan Preview and Prediction
The Proteas have continued to have the advantage since that first game, winning 45 of their 73 encounters, with Pakistan winning 25 and one game ending with no result.
But Pakistan have won the last two encounters, and both of them were significant games. In the summer of 2017, they beat South Africa by 19 runs in a Group B game en route to their surprise Champions Trophy success and they also won a Pool B encounter at the 2015 World Cup.
The last two full One Day International series have been shared, with both teams showing an ability to win away from home. In November 2013, South Africa secured a notable 4-1 series win in a series held in the UAE, but two weeks later, Pakistan returned the compliment, winning in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth to complete a famous 2-1 series victory.
Last Ten Series
November 2013 South Africa 1 Pakistan 2 in South Africa
November 2013 Pakistan 1 Pakistan 4 in UAE
March 2013 South Africa 3 Pakistan 2 in South Africa
November 2010 Pakistan 2 South Africa 3 in UAE
October 2007 Pakistan 2 South Africa 3 in Pakistan
February 2007 South Africa 3 Pakistan 1 in South Africa
October 2003 Pakistan 2 South Africa 3 in Pakistan
December 2002 South Africa 4 Pakistan 1 in South Africa
August 2002 South Africa 2 Pakistan 0 in Tangier
August 2000 Pakistan 1 South Africa 1 in Singapore
For both these teams, the focus is on the World Cup in England this summer, but South Africa are in good shape in the fifty over format at the moment. Since their exit at the Group stage of the 2017 Champions Trophy, the Proteas have won four out of five One Day International series, their only defeat coming at home against India. The series victories over Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were straightforward, but the series wins in Sri Lanka in the summer and Australia in November were impressive performances and showed that the team can compete in varying conditions.
The outlook for Pakistan isn’t quite so optimistic. Although they will have fond memories of their 2017 triumph in England, since then their only significant success in this format was a 5-0 victory over Sri Lanka in the UAE and a 5-0 series win in Zimbabwe. They’ve lost two series against New Zealand, and although they beat Hong Kong and Afghanistan in the summer’s Asian Cup, held in the UAE, they lost both of their games against India in that tournament.
South Africa will be strengthened by the return of captain Faf du Plessis who is back in the team after his Third Test suspension, and should be raring to go, although they have taken the precaution of resting Dale Steyn and Quinton de Kock for some of the five-match series. That still leaves them with a talented squad, including Duanne Olivier and Aiden Markram, who are both pushing for starting places. It is expected that Heinrich Klaasen will keep wicket for the first two games.
For Pakistan, the return of Mohammad Amir to the limited overs squad, following his successful Test recall is a vital addition, given that Mohammad Abbas is being rested. Otherwise there a number of changes to the Pakistan line-up, with Shan Masood, Hussain Talat and Mohammad Rizwan all coming to the squad and much will be expected of young batting star Babar Azam
The Test series was always likely to be a struggle for Pakistan, and although they had their moments, the combination of South Africa’s dangerous pace attack and some tricky pitches proved too much for the tourists. They will be hopeful of putting up a stronger fight in the limited overs portion of the tour, and given that they won their last series in South Africa back in 2013, and have made a habit of upsetting the odds, as they did in the Champions Trophy, it would be dangerous to write them off. But this is a Pakistan team that is badly out of form in the One Day International format and it is asking too much of them to manage more than a token win on South African soil.
Pakistan drew level in their series with South Africa at the Wanderers, inflicting the hosts’ first ever PinkDay defeat as they dominated with bat and ball.
Final ODI (D/N), Pakistan tour of South Africa at Cape Town, Jan 30 2019
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