Lords hosts its first match of the Cricket World Cup on Sunday and it’s a clash between two struggling sides as Pakistan take on South Africa
Pakistan have had a full week to reflect on a 89 run (DLS) defeat to India in Manchester last Sunday, a result which leaves them with an overall record of 1 win, 3 defeats and 1 no result and only a very slim chance of making the play offs.
Mohammad Amir claimed 3 more wickets against India but his side were tasked with chasing down a bat first total of 336/5. Imam-ul-Haq fell early in the chase, hopes were then revived by Fakhar Zaman (62) and Babar Azam (48) but when their partnership ended more wickets fell and rain interruptions saw them fall even further behind the rate on DLS. The Pakistan innings eventually closed on 212/6.
In earlier results Pakistan lost to West Indies by 7 wickets but then turned England over by 14 runs. A clash with Sri Lanka was completely washed out before they went down to Australia by 41 runs.
Right now Pakistan are now trading at around 66/1 to win the tournament, 33/1 to reach the final and 12/1 to reach the semi finals although results of matches between the time of writing and matchday are likely to see those odds change significantly.
Babar Azam is leading run scorer for Pakistan with 163 runs, Mohammad Hafeez has a total of 155 and Fakhar Zaman has made 120. Mohammad Amir is leading wicket taker with 13 and Wahab Riaz has 5.
This was how Pakistan lined up against India
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk/ capt), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir
South Africa came out the wrong side of a tight match with New Zealand in Birmingham on Wednesday, going down by 4 wickets. Any lingering hopes of a semi final place would appear to have evaporated although at the time of writing odds of 33/1 were quoted for a prolonged stay in the tournament.
After a delayed start the Proteas posted 241/6 in 49 overs against New Zealand with the major contributions coming from Rassie van der Dussen (67 not out) and Hashim Amla (55). The Proteas bowlers chipped away at the Black caps but despite 3 wickets for Morris they couldn’t remove Kane Williamson who’s unbeaten ton helped his side get up with just 3 balls to spare.
The Proteas now have a record of 1 win alongside 4 defeats and 1 no result with the only victory coming against Afghanistan (9 wickets DLS). Prior to the Afghanistan match no result was possible in South Africa’s clash with West Indies and their first 3 matches ended in defeats to England (104 runs), Bangladesh (24 runs) and India (6 wickets).
After this the Proteas face Sri Lanka before they finish up against Australia
Quinton de Kock is leading run scorer for South Africa with 191, Rassie van der Dussen has 180 and Faf du Plessis has made 128. Chris Morris is leading wicket taker with 9, Imran Tahir has 8 and Andile Phehlukwayo has 7.
This is how South Africa lined up against New Zealand on Wednesday.
Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi
Head to Head
The teams have met 78 times with Pakistan winning 27, South Africa have won 50 with 1 no result.
The most recent head to heads came in South Africa in January this year and the Proteas won a nip and tuck series 3-2.
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South Africa 4/6
Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
I would have priced this one up as a choice game with both sides having under-performed in the bulk of their matches. It’s tough to back either team with too much confidence but the value could well be with Pakistan who will have the bulk of the support behind them.
Pakistan to win at 5/4