Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Pakistan vs South Africa: First T20I Preview

Pakistan vs South Africa: First T20I Preview

Pakistan vs South Africa: First T20I Preview

South Africa's tour to Pakistan has moved to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore where all three of the T20Is are set to be played.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Both Pakistan and the Proteas look set for some experimentation, with the hosts testing their depth while the tourists opted to go ahead with fielding a side devoid of multi-format stars.

Pakistan vs South Africa | Thursday 11 February | The Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore | 12:30

To Win Match
Pakistan: 47/100
Tie: 25/1
South Africa: 7/4

The bulk of the hosts' squad are players who have impressed in the Pakistan Super League with a few T20I regulars reinforcing an inexperienced group.

Pakistan have recalled Hasan Ali and Asif Ali with the former coming into the series looking in good touch after starring in the Test series to prove he has put his injury problems behind him.

There are four uncapped players in Pakistan's squad of 20 in the shape of left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, allrounder Danish Aziz, leg-spinner Zahid Mehmood and bowling allrounder Amad Butt.

Pakistan have not lost in their last six T20Is played on home soil but will be looking to improve their head-to-head record against South Africa which the tourists have edged eight wins to six.

Skipper Babar Azam is the clear dangerman among Pakistan's batsman heading into the series with a career average of 50.93.

South Africa
Heinrich Klaasen will lead the inexperienced Proteas with support from senior batsman David Miller hoping to do better than the regulars have managed in the last few outings. South Africa are currently enduring a four-match losing streak in the format.

The series could be a boom or bust moment for Jon-Jon Smuts who has had a handful of opportunities to press his case but is yet to really fire in international cricket. Smuts recently scored a List A hundred for the Warriors and should be in good touch.

There are plenty of exciting youngsters around and it will be interesting to see if left-hander Ryan Rickelton gets his chance to debut in the first match as an opener.

Tabraiz Shamsi is likely to be a key bowler for the tourists having recovered from an injury that limited his involvement with the Test group.

There are plenty of allrounders in the group which could see South Africa bat deep, but they still need to put the runs on the board as early as possible.

Verdict: Pakistan 47/100
Imposing at home, Pakistan should hold the edge but the format is unpredictable.

Written by James Richardson. 

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