Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd T20, Dubai November 14, 2013

Pressure on Pakistan to liven up contest


Match facts

Friday, November 15, 2013
Start time 2000 local (1600GMT)

Big Picture

If Wednesday set the tone for this four-match, two-country mini-series then we don't have much to look forward to in the next week. It was as one-sided an affair as you can get in the shortest format and both teams will hope for something more competitive as the UAE leg of their contest comes to an end.

It will be up to Pakistan to make it more of a duel. Their batting collapses have become the source of serious concern as poor shot selection and lack of application continues to haunt them. They need someone to bat through, another few to bat with him, partnerships to form and more resistance put up. In short, they need more dedication and more fight.

South Africa's bowlers have hardly been challenged so far and it would make a welcome change if they were. Their batting has improved consistently through the ODIs and although they didn't have to do much beyond the formalities on Wednesday, they will want to assert themselves even further before heading home, where batting is likely to be more difficult.

Form guide

(last five completed games most recent first)
Pakistan LWWWW
South Africa WLWWL

In the spotlight

Shoaib Malik spent 35 minutes at the crease - the second-longest stint of any Pakistan batsmen (Umar Akmal batted for 55 minutes) - faced 23 balls but only had 12 runs to show for it. He demonstrated the right mindset in wanting to give himself a little bit of time to settle in but the wrong intent when he grew so frustrated that he fell into the trap of chasing a wide ball and being stumped. If he can avoid making a similar error, Malik is the likeliest candidate to take responsibility in the Pakistan line-up, a quality they certainly need.

He does not have the aggression and pace of Dale Steyn but Lonwabo Tsotsobe has played an equally important role with the new ball. In conditions where he has found some swing and bounce, Tsotsobe has been a perfect partner to Steyn. After concerns over his fitness in Sri Lanka, he has come back committed and performing well. He dedicated his showing on Wednesday night to his father and brother - incidentally it was their birthday although the former has passed - and said he wants to follow up with something just as special in the final match.

Team news

Neither Ahmed Shehzad nor Sohaib Maqsood was successful at the top of the order so Mohammad Hafeez may consider returning there despite the prospect of having to face Steyn early on. Nasir Jamshed may also come into contention if Maqsood is dropped. The middle order should remain the same but Abdur Rehman could find himself out of the XI. Mohammad Irfan is due a break and may make way for Junaid Khan.

Pakistan: (likely) 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt)/Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Hafeez/Sohaib Maqsood, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Umar Akmal (wk), 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Abdul Razzaq, 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 and 11 Junaid Khan/Mohammad Irfan/Abdur Rehman

South Africa have sent Morne Morkel and JP Duminy home to give the pair, who play in all formats, some rest ahead of the home summer. That may make room for Henry Davids to come back into the XI, with either Hashim Amla or Quinton de Kock moving down the order. The team management also indicated that AB de Villiers would need to have a break and if he sits out, David Wiese could come into contention. South Africa may also consider swapping spinners with Imran Tahir making way for Aaron Phangiso.

South Africa: (likely) 1 Henry Davids, 2 Hashim Amla 3, Quinton de Kock (wk) 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 AB de Villiers/David Wiese, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Imran Tahir/Aaron Phangiso

Stats and trivia

  • If South Africa win the series 2-0, they will go up to No.2 on the ICC T20 rankings, from their current position of fifth. If Pakistan manage to square the series 1-1, they will stay second, with South Africa staying at fifth place.
  • The head to head record between these two teams is not exactly the same. Both have won four matches.


"We're just playing really good cricket at the moment. We're understanding what we want to do in T20 cricket. If you understand your roles, you will be the best you can be."
Faf du Plessis believes South Africa's T20 side is on the right path and its showing in the way they outplayed Pakistan.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on November 15, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    same old story a collapse pakistan very familiar

  • android_user on November 15, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Let's see what happens to day.

  • Sports4Youth on November 15, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Jamshed in place of A.Rehman is good news. But Continuance of S.Tanvir is bad news. Junaid should have come in place of Tanvir. Still the problem is not solved. Still I dont see Malik & Razzaq getting to bowl. And according to me they are not specialist batsmen.

  • dummy4fb on November 15, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Its Friday and pakistan in past didnt loose on friday and even their first ODI win was on Friday against SA . Today is also friday

  • dummy4fb on November 15, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Big never wins match its combinations which wins matches for you, we were unbeaten through out the year , still we changed the combination, we made changes and include 4 all rounder and still we have long tail, that showed how our think tank is working. when you include all rounder it aims to reduce the tail but we are playing all rounder reducing our batting which is already reduced in skills :P. Try to make combinations for t20 WC. don't make nervous decision. hope today shoaib, ahmad and razak will fire and we will see good contest if we cross 150. GO green

  • Sports4Youth on November 15, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Posted by Wahab Jan on (November 15, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

    I agree with you. Also I want to add that not only S.TANVIR but also S.MALIK, M.HAFEEZ, W.RIAZ, U.GUL & M.SAMI should be dropped for ever.

  • android_user on November 15, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Go Pakistan

  • keptalittlelow on November 15, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Unfortunately there is no fun watching this series because SA are simply too good for Pakistan in all the three formats and on all the pitches. With this batting line up Pakistan has no chance of putting up even a half decent contest.

  • android_user on November 15, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    If SA wins 2-0 they will jump at 2nd position then on which position Pak will move to??

  • t20cric on November 15, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    I think Pakistanneed to try new players on the tour to SA regardless if they win or lose today. All of the older players seem to be a selfish bunch who only score for themselves and wouldn't give their spot on the team no matter what happens. If India can leave out ghambir and sehwag then our players like Malik and Hafeez definitely have no right to be in the team. We also need to persist with young guys like India did with rohit sharma. I hope Pakistan play today with a positive approach and win this t20. More importantly I hope all of the youngsters show their true talent and bat/bowl well. Pakistan has to avoid a batting collapse at all costs today cuz that's what hurts most not the losing. Sure SA have one of the best bowling attacks and have today's best fast bowler along with amazing fielding but they aren't unplayable. Even two W's in their prime were not completely unplayable. With a little bit of research and planning Pakistan can go a long way. Insha Allah Pak will win.