World Cup 2019: Pakistan opted to bat first against South Africa

LONDON: Pakistan on Sunday won the toss and opted to bat first against South Africa here at Lord’s, London.

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Struggling Pakistan and South Africa will face-off in a high stake clash in the World Cup seeking to secure a place in the semi-final at Lord’s today.

Both Shaheens and Proteas have won just one match in the World Cup and stand on ninth and eighth position respectively on the points table.

The green shirts lone win in the tournament came against hosts England while their game against Sri Lanka was rained out. Their 29-run thrashing at the hands of India left the team with three points from five matches and needing them to win all four of their remaining matches.

For Pakistan, their batting remains their main concern with no batsman leaving an impact so far apart from Babar Azam who has scored 163 in his four games.

If Pakistan wants to have a realistic chance of making it into the next round, their batsmen need to up their ante.

Mohammad Hafeez who has scored 155 runs in the tournament, will be requiring support of Sarfaraz Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik who have yet to score tons for the green shirts.

It is expected Haris Sohail may find a place in today’s playing XI against South Africa.

While Pakistan’s bowling department has retorted slightly better, with fast bowler Mohammad Amir the star for the green shirts with 13 wickets from five matches and a best of 5-30.

Their opponents South Africa also have a win from their six World Cup games and must win today’s game if they want to remain in contention for a spot in the semi-final.

The Proteas who came into the tournament as one of the contenders have been unimpressive with their lone victory of the tournament coming against Afganistan.

Though the South African bowling department has been picking wickets ferociously with Chris Morris, Imran Tahir and Andile Phehlukwayo, their batting department has been deficient.

Apart from skipper Faf du Plessis, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, no other batsman has done anything noteworthy in the tournament.

Squads

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Harris Sohail, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman

South Africa:  Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi

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