Carrying on their juggernaut on the African soil, Pakistan registered their highest ever chase in a T20I and cruised to victory by 4 wickets in the series opener. The hosts, on the other hand, should also be proud of their performance, considering that they stepped on the park without most of their regulars.
South Africa’s bowling looks bleak in the absence of their mainstays and it will once again be a massive concern going into the second T20I. However, they’ll take confidence from the performance of their batsmen, who helped them post a challenging total of 188-6. The hosts will be relieved to see Aiden Markram and Henrich Klaasen getting back to form. Janneman Malan is another player who’s been in decent form of late. South Africa will need these guys to fire as the middle order looks very vulnerable. Few early wickets and South African innings could be in shambles.
Pakistan seems to have discovered a diamond in Mohammad Rizwan. A half century in the 1st T20I meant that Rizwan now has ten consecutive fifty plus scores in the T20 format. Other than him, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez are among the best batsmen going around in world cricket. Coming at 7, Faheem Ashraf played a blazing knock of 30 off just 14 balls, depicting the depth in this Pakistan batting. In Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Usman Qadir, Pakistan have a far superior bowling line up and as said earlier, if they can knock out the top order for not much, the match could be over way before expected.
Pitch and Weather Report – The match will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. As we saw in the first game, the surface was pretty flat and we don’t think it will change much for the next game. The weather also looks good with temperatures hovering around mid 20s.
Rassie van der Dussen hasn’t fully recovered from the injury and is most likely to miss the second T20I as well.
The last one month has been terrific for Markram. Ahead of the Pakistan series, Markram scored a double hundred and a hundred in South Africa’s domestic tournament. He played well in the second ODI against Pakistan and has now scored a 50 in the 1st T20I. Markram needs to capitalize on his form and play a big inning for South Africa.
Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen (c & wk), Pite van Biljon, Wihan Lubbe, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sisanda Magala, Beuran Hendricks, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
Having won the first game, the visitors are most likely to stick with the same playing combination.
Mohammed Rizwan has been a great find for Pakistan, especially in the shorter formats. The wicket-keeper batsman has scored ten consecutive fifty plus scores in the T20 format. His ability to give brisk starts has been instrumental in Pakistan’s success in T20Is.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf