Pakistan v SA, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston June 9, 2013

Desperate teams face off in crucial match

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Match Facts

Monday, June 10, 2013, Edgbaston
Start time 1.00pm (12 GMT)

Big Picture

The Champions Trophy will only be five days old on Monday but already it's crunch time. Defeat at Edgbaston will leave either South Africa or Pakistan on the brink of exit. Neither team is ready for that reality yet, so expect a tooth-and-nail affair between two desperate units.

The numbers are in South Africa's favour. They beat Pakistan 3-2 in a series in March and, even though they lost the warm-up match last Monday, they are in better shape after their opening match against India. South Africa ensured their net run-rate remained high when they ran India close and they showed they could bat deep.

Pakistan did the opposite. They were woeful against a West Indies attack that challenged with pace and spin, and only Nasir Jamshed and Misbah-ul-Haq showed any fight. However, even though they only scored 170, their bowlers kept them in the game until the last 10 overs, showing they could defend as long as there was a reasonable total.

The battle lines have been drawn between South Africa's batting and Pakistan's bowling and has been evened out by South Africa's pace pack being depleted. Although neutrals would want to see Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in action, without them the contest should level. That promises a match of spit and sizzle, rather than just steam.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

South Africa: LWWLW
Pakistan: LWTWL

In the Spotlight

Colin Ingram has yet to look like he belongs in big-match situations and will have to make the most of what could be his last opportunity to nail down a spot. Ingram will face a stern challenge against an attack which has been spoken about as the most difficult to face in this tournament, because of their variation.

He is confident against spin but will have to survive the early onslaught first and Junaid Khan will cause the most problems. The left-armer troubled South Africa in their warm-up match at the Oval last week and, with a middle order that is packed with left-handers, he can be expected to make an impact again.

Team news

Dale Steyn's fitness is South Africa's most pressing concern ahead of this match and it looks unlikely he will play, although they are holding out faint hope. They also have other selection issues to consider.

Chris Morris is certain to make his ODI debut in place of Morne Morkel, and South Africa may toy with the idea of including a second spinner in Aaron Phangiso. Colin Ingram should get another chance at the top of the order and South Africa may look to lengthen their batting line-up by pushing Robin Peterson up in a pinch-hitter role.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Colin Ingram, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson 9 Chris Morris, 10 Rory Kleinveldt/Aaron Phangiso, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe/Dale Steyn

Pakistan's bowlers almost defended 170 on Friday so they will not want to make any changes to that department. Even though the top-order batting let them down at the Oval, they don't have too many options to bolster that. Umar Amin is the only spare batsmen but it's unlikely he will replace anyone in the current line-up.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Imran Farhat, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal, 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Saeed Ajmal 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammed Irfan

Pitch and conditions

Ian Bell, who top-scored in the match between England and Australia that was played at this ground on Saturday, said the pitch became harder to bat on as the match progressed. Scoring slowed towards the end of the England innings and the Australian batsmen found it difficult to get going.

He said it was a very different surface compared to the usual one-day wicket at the ground because it was so much drier. That will become more noticeable as the tournament goes on and spinners can look forward to assistance in the later stages. Overhead conditions will also be good for the quicks with a mostly cloudy, mild day with a high of 15 degrees forecast and no rain expected.

Stats and Trivia

  • Pakistan have never won a bilateral ODI series against South Africa. Nor have they won a match against South Africa at either a World Cup or Champions Trophy.

  • With 24 fifties and no hundred, Misbah-ul-Haq is second on the list of ODI batsmen with most innings without a hundred. Leading that list is New Zealand's Andrew Jones, who scored 25 half-centuries without scoring a century

Quotes

"We hope he gets to that big 100 in terms of birthdays and can still make a difference in our country in the next few years."
Apart from everything else, the health of Nelson Mandela is on AB de Villiers' mind as well. The former president was admitted to hospital on Sunday morning.

"They believe that they can do it. I believe they can do it. It's just a matter of applying yourself. They should not be worried" Misbah-ul-Haq has some motivating words for his team

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on June 10, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    In pressure cooker game, will South Africa survive the early onslaught of Pakistan bowlers ????

  • dummy4fb on June 10, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    If Colin INgram plays: I give up on SA!

  • SherjilIslam on June 10, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    I think it's the battle of Equals.Any team can win,& it's really hard to predict the outcome of this game.SA being the ultimate "Chokers" of world cricket and Pakistan being the official "Unpredictables". I am expecting another thriller of a match like SL-NZ one. And to all those people voting that winner of CT-13 will come from group B, i think you people are too optimistic about your teams and nothing else.Mark my words, winner will definitely come from Group 'A'

  • deep6321 on June 10, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    As the match is about to start in about 35-38 minutes..I would like to pick one side as my favourite. I think if pakistan drop Farhat and include amin ,their batting becomes pretty decent against the not so good african bowling.I think pakistan will manage a good score (if bat first) and will be able to defend it.So my favourite PAK (if bat first).

    If SA bat first , they will definitely put a good score on the board.and given the pakistan lineup i dont think they will be able to get there. So I think SA will be the winner. Best of luck to both teams

  • gsingh7 on June 10, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    i want green top for this game to see how sa bowlers and pak batsmen can cope up with it. who ever wins between pak batsmen and sa bowlers will win this tie. want pak to win otherwise india -pak match will be dead rubber as pak will be eliminated by then.

  • keptalittlelow on June 10, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Dale Steyn in or out, with their current batting strength(weakness more appropriately), Pakistan have very little chance of beating SA. Their is no talent, no class in this batting line up, you need match winners in a bunch, there is none here as far as batting is concerned.

  • dummy4fb on June 10, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    As the slowness of the pitch and sometimes ball stick will will make it difficult for SA batsman and it will suit to pakistani style of cricket..... hope to enjoy another nail bitter....

  • dummy4fb on June 10, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Pak should replace imran farhat with umer amin. kamran and hafeez should open...Pak need a strong batting line,it already had two dominant openers so dont need imran any more..the bowling is perfect.Pak is able to defend any total with good fielding. All the best to Pakistan team...

  • Syed_imran_abbas on June 10, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Pakistan is missing Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail in middle order. Malik, farhat and likes of umar amin are useless. even asad shafeeq seems only good in test matches. with no styen in side, hafeez might play a good role. good luck boys.

  • dummy4fb on June 10, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    It will be do or die situation for both the teams but my fair idea is South Africans doesn't do better in these type of situations. Other than any thing else is this Imran farhat Should not be the part of the team and Umar Amin should be given a chance to proof himself