Pakistan will play the final T20I for pride, having already lost the three-T20I series 0-2. Meanwhile, South Africa will punch above their weight to whitewash the No. 1 team in ICC T20I Rankings.
The first two matches produced 180-plus scores in both innings. The SuperSport Park in Centurion is likely to produce a similar result. The pitch will be courteous to the batters.
Batters and wicketkeepers
Reeza Hendricks laid strong foundations in both matches, scoring 74 and 28. While he provides solidity at the start, van der Dussen and David Miller capitalise on the good start and bury the Pakistan bowler under a barrage of boundaries from middle overs.
Klaasen has not had a proper go on these pitches. He will be itching to make it big on Wednesday.
Pakistan batters have not done anything wrong yet. They fell short by a mere 6 and 7 runs in the pursuit of 193 and 188 respectively. Babar Azam has been their top batter, walloping 38 and 90. Hussain Talat was on a rampage. He has scores of 40 and 55. However, the lower middle failed to exploit good starts and lost the plot. Shoaib Malik put up a fight with 49 runs in the first match, but in the second, Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris ran through Pakistan middle-order and sucked their momentum.
With 15 runs to defend in the last over of the second match, Miller handed the ball to Phehlukwayo. He conceded a four off the first ball, but that was the last time Pakistan heaved a sigh. Phehlukwayo removed Malik and Hasan Ali and took South Africa over the line. Before that, Chris Morris had done the damage. He had dismissed Imad Wasim and the dangerous Talat in the 19th over. Had it not been for Phehlukwayo and Morris’ performances at crucial junctures, the series would have been on the line for South Africa.
Mohammad Hafeez is likely to replace Asif Ali. Adding him will give Pakistan an extra bowler as well. Given the way they have been giving away runs, they need as many extra bowlers as possible.
With figures of 3 for 41, Usman Shinwari was Pakistan’s best bowler in the first match. He was their worst bowler in the second, leaking 63 runs for no wicket. If Faheem Ashraf is fit, he will replace either Shinwari or Hasan Ali.
Three bowlers have taken four wickets each for South Africa: Phehlukwayo, Morris, and Beuran Hendricks. Shamsi too has been providing impetus, taking 2 wickets.
Probable XI for South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller (c), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Junior Dala
Probable XI for Pakistan: Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali/Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali/Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Shahin Afridi, Usman Shinwari/Faheem Ashraf
I have opted for a fantasy cricket team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
What is your combination?
My XI: Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam (vc), Hussain Talat, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo (c), Chris Morris, Shahin Afridi, Beuran Hendricks, Lutho Sipamla