Pakistan seek to get out of T20 rut
Match factsFriday, November 22, 2013
Start time 1800 local (1600GMT)
Big PictureBefore the Twenty20 matches in the UAE started, Pakistan had won their previous five matches and South Africa's recent record in the shortest format was patchy. Take a look at the form guide below and you will see how that has changed over the last 10 days.
Pakistan are now on a losing streak that Mohammad Hafeez lamented they can't seem to break because "the luck is just not with us". Fortune abandoned the team - and Wednesday night's rain was another example of it - just as consistency has attached itself to South Africa.
Faf du Plessis' men seem to have made much-needed strides in a format they were guilty of treating a little too lightly in the past. With role definition evident in the batting line-up and all their frontline bowlers firing, all they would want from their last T20 of the year is to continue on the path they are on now.
Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in this format later in the year but they would still value an opportunity to get one over South Africa, especially because they have been under the pump for most of the past month. They showed signs of being able to match the opposition toe to toe in Johannesburg and will hope to pick that up in Cape Town, before the ODI series starts.
Form guide(Last five completed games, most recent first)
South Africa WWWLW
In the spotlightThe Cape Town crowd have been denied any international action over December because India's tour will be played on the Highveld and in Durban only, and this is their consolation prize. Tickets have been selling well for the series as a whole - the Wanderers had sold 20,000 tickets for the first T20 although rain meant not all those people turned up - and the crowds are expected to hit a crescendo this weekend. The Cape Town faithful can look forward to a T20 on Friday and an ODI on Sunday. They're not invited but they may also be interested to know that on Saturday, South Africa's T20 captain, Faf du Plessis, will marry Imari Visser at a wine farm in their city.
Team newsHenry Davids has been released from the squad to play first-class cricket for his franchise which means South Africa have settled on Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock to open. AB de Villiers may come back from being rested in the previous match while David Miller or Wayne Parnell could make way for David Wiese, the allrounder who has not played so far. If Ryan McLaren returns, South Arica could have five seamers at their disposal and will have to make a choice between Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso for the spinners' role.
South Africa: (likely)1 Hashim Amla 2 Quinton de Kock (wk) 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy 6 David Miller/David Wiese/Wayne Parnell, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Dale Steyn, 9 Morne Morkel 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe 11 Imran Tahir/Aaron Phangiso
Leaving Saeed Ajmal out because of conditions would have left Pakistan wondering what could have been after their spinners controlled the South African innings. They will likely bring him back at the expense of Anwar Ali, who struggled to get a measure of how to bowl on South African surfaces.
Pakistan: (likely) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Mohammad Hafeez (capt), 4 Sohaib Maqsood 5 Umar Amin, 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Bilawal Bhatti, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan
Stats and trivia
- Apart from the 2007 World T20, Newlands has only hosted one other international T20, played between Australia and South Africa in the 2011-12 season. Pakistan played two matches at the ground in the inaugural T20 event and won both, beating Bangladesh and New Zealand
"It was one of those MS Dhoni moments when I just went with my gut. But JP has still got a lot more bowling to do and we can use him a lot more."
Faf du Plessis says JP Duminy, whom he had brought on to snaffle a wicket at the Wanderers, has a lot to offer South Africa with ball in hand
"It's always a match between him and me, so I am ready for the challenge. We've competitive in the field and good friends off it."
Dale Steyn did not get the better of Mohammad Hafeez in Johannesburg, and the Pakistan captain looks forward to resuming the rivalry in Cape Town
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.