It’s a must-win game for Pakistan when they take the field on Thursday night at the SCG, But South Africa will not give them an easy game as they look to continue their winning ways and end on top of the table in Group B.
For South Africa, a win will cement their spot, on top of the Group B table. Whereas, Pakistan needs a win to keep their T20 World Cup dreams alive.
South Africa come into the match after a surprising but emphatic victory against favourites India in Perth. A win set up by their bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Wayne Parnell, restricting India to just 133 runs.
Chasing down the runs, after a circumspect start, David Miller and Aiden Markram both stepped up scoring half-centuries to bring the Proteas home.
South Africa has relied on a different batter each time in their three games so far in the World Cup. This shows the depth in their batting lineup.
“I think the continuity of the squad over time, guys have managed to sort of find their roles, and sort of if one guy isn’t doing well, another guy picks up the slack,” Batter David Miller said ahead of the match to media today.
First, Quinton de Kock scored a quickfire 47 not out in a rain-reduced match against Zimbabwe in Hobart. In the following game, it was Rilee Rossouw who would go on to score a century against Bangladesh at the SCG. Then it was Miller and Markram against India.
“I suppose we are finding lots of ways to win. We’ve done it over a period of time now. I’d say probably the last year, we’ve found ourselves in tricky situations and managed to get over the line,” Miller said.
“I suppose if the batters are doing their job, then the all-rounders and bowlers, we don’t really need them to bat.
“The guys are really putting in the hard work. The tail end, allrounders, as well, because going into competitions like this in one or two games we might need them.”
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Despite sitting fifth on the Group B table, it doesn’t quite show how dangerous Pakistan has been in this tournament, losing two last-ball thrillers to both India and Zimbabwe respectively before getting an important win on the board against the Netherlands.
Needing a win to keep their feint hopes of progression through to the Semi-Finals alive, Pakistan will be fired up when they take on South Africa tomorrow night. Hoping it won’t come down to the final ball of the match, their opening batters have a lot to prove.
Captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan came into the tournament as the players to lead Pakistan with the bat. However, they have had a World Cup to forget. Unable to put a big score up, this may be their last opportunity to do so.
“I think it is an area to exploit. This game is all about confidence, and they haven’t probably performed the way they’ve wanted to, but they’re world-class players, and we’re expecting them to come out and bring their A-game and be up for the challenge,” Miller said talking about the two openers.
“It’s by all means not just going in there and expecting to get them out first ball or early up. We’ve got to work really hard for every wicket, and hopefully, we can get them early and put the Pakistan middle order under pressure a little bit earlier than later.”
This Super 12 game is a must-watch. It will showcase two extremely talented teams that are looking to prove to themselves and their fans they are capable of winning the 2022 World Cup.
South Africa vs Pakistan will take place at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, with the opening ball being bowled at 19:00 pm AEDT.
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