Pakistan look for consolation win in third T20

PESHAWAR: The third match of the three-match T20 series between Pakistan and South Africa will be played at the Centurion today (Wednesday).

The match will begin at 09:00pm (PST). With the result of the series already decided in the favour of South Africa 2-0, there is nothing much left in the series. Proteas will try to clean sweep the series, while Pakistan will vie to avoid the same and earn a consolation win.

South Africa will aim to give chance to their untried players having already won the series and Willem Mulder will be certainly one of them. Pakistan haven’t been able to play the series according to standards they set recently and lost both the matches in a disappointing manner. They were well set to chase the target in both the matches when Babar Azam and Hussain Talat were batting, but once they got out, the rest of the team collapsed.

Asif Ali and rest of the middle and lower middle order was particularly disappointing with their failure to finish the game. Usman Shinwari, who conceded 29 runs in the last over of the second T20, which ultimately cost the match, may be rested in the final T20 and Mohammad Amir is most likely to get the chance. The fitness issue of Mohammad Hafeez is still troubling Pakistan. Results could have been different in presence of Hafeez in the playing eleven. However, despite weakened South African team due to absence of key players, Pakistan couldn’t capatalise and lost an opportunity to win a series in South Africa.

Shoaib Malik looked good in his captaincy in his first ODI, but after that he lost three matches on the trot. The uncertainty over captaincy issue was removed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday, with its chief Ehsan Mani announcing that Sarfraz Ahmed will be captain of the team till the World Cup.

Pakistan squad: Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik (c), Usman Khan, Mohammad Rizwan.

South Africa squad: Gihahn Cloete, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller (c), Chris Morris, Willem Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lutho Sipamla.