South Africa vs Pakistan: Second Test Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

We preview the second Test between South Africa and Pakistan set to get underway on Thursday 3 January. 

Despite going down by six wickets at SuperSport Park Centurion, Pakistan were hardly disgraced. Their seamers were excellent and kept them in the game in Tshwane, but a second innings collapse put to bed any hopes they had of taking a 1-0 series lead.

They’ll head to Newlands confident of getting a result against a South African side who didn’t give a particularly good account of themselves in Gauteng.

South Africa vs Pakistan | 3 January – 7 January | PPC Newlands, Cape Town

To Win Match
South Africa 7/20
Draw 11/2
Pakistan 4/1

South Africa
There were about as many positives as there were negatives for South Africa up at SuperSport Park Centurion. Duanne Olivier’s maiden 10-wicket haul was the biggest plus for the home side. Solid batting contributions from Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock in the first innings and 50s from Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla in the second were also big positives.

Other than those contributions with the willow, the Proteas were disappointing. Faf du Plessis battled and earned himself a pair while Aiden Markram battled at the top of the order. They’re both class players, though and are likely to come good sooner rather than later. Better batting conditions in Cape Town will help.

Vernon Philander is due to return to the side for the second Test. It would be criminal to drop Olivier after his performance in Tshwane, so we’ll likely see de Bruyn fall away with Philander’s batting becoming an increasingly more prominent part of his game.

Weather-wise, we’re looking good. There is likely to be plenty of heavy cloud cover on day’s four and five without any risk of rain according to weather reports.

Had the Pakistanis not collapsed so spectacularly in their second innings, they’d likely have come away from Centurion with a 1-0 series lead. They collapsed from 101-2 in the 29th over to 190 all out in the 56th. Mickey Arthur allegedly gave his players a bit of hairdryer treatment before the start of the fourth innings.

His mood would have been lightened significantly after a good bowling performance in the fourth innings. Indeed, with a bit more luck, they could have won with Amla dropped and Elgar receiving a controversial reprieve from the third umpire.

Mohammad Abbas will return to the side to bolster what is already a very, very good seam attack. Unfortunately, that will mean that one of the Pakistani seamers will have to face the chop, with either Hasan Ali or Shaheen Shah Afridi. Afridi was excellent at Centurion, so I’d imagine we’ll see Ali get the axe.

Verdict: South Africa 7/20
South Africa are rightly favourites here. Expect them to put in a far more polished display than what we saw up at Centurion. A comfortable enough win is on the cards here.

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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