Date – Sunday, 1st March 2020
Time – 3 pm (Local Time), 9:30 am (IST)
Venue – Sydney Showground Stadium, Sydney
After the inaugural match of the tournament between the hosts Australia and India, the action returns to Sydney for the final matches of Group B. The group, consisting of England, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, and Thailand, is interestingly poised at the moment with England and South Africa both on 4 points and Pakistan and West Indies, both on 2 points. Thailand is the only team that has been knocked out.
Under this backdrop, South Africa now face Pakistan in a very important match for the two sides. If South Africa wins the match, they will almost seal their place in the semi-finals and Pakistan will crash out of the tournament. However, should South Africa lose, they will leave the door open for both the West Indies and Pakistan to topple them by the end. With Pakistan scheduled to face Thailand, the South Africans can’t take this chance. If Pakistan wins, they will be on equal terms with England, West Indies (at least momentarily) and South Africa. With the game against Thailand to follow, they can still progress to the semi-finals.
South Africa Vs Pakistan – Head-to-Head & Form Guide
The head-to-head record suggests that we are in for a very interesting match. South Africa has met Pakistan in 14 occasions. Out of these matches, South Africa are marginally ahead with 8 wins to Pakistan’s 6. Pakistan toured South Africa last year and South Africa had to fight, managing to win the series 3-2. However, in World T20s, South Africa has played against Pakistan twice – in 2012 and 2014 editions – and South Africa won on both encounters.
South Africa – WWLWL
Pakistan – LWLLL
(Last 5 completed matches)
South Africa have won both their games in the tournament, against England and Thailand. They also managed to win a game against New Zealand during the tour there. Considering their good wins against these sides, they have got some momentum ahead of this match.
Pakistan, meanwhile, have only their win against West Indies in their last few matches. They had lost their matches to England and India in this competition and also the series against England before the tournament. They will be deflated and under pressure at the moment.
South Africa Squad – Dane van Niekerk (captain), Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Laura Wolvaardt
The South African side has an experienced group of core players who will be expected to make heavy contributions throughout the tournament. Lizelle Lee is a hard-hitting batter and can take on the bowling early in the innings. Dane van Niekerk is a reliable all-rounder along with Marizanne Kapp, Mignon du Preez, and Sune Luus. Shabnim Ismail will be expected to lead a relatively inexperienced bowling unit consisting of Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Nondumiso Shangase and Nonkululeko Mlaba. The all-rounders will also be contributing quite heavily with the ball.
With Marizanne Kapp out of the last match with a respiratory infection, it is likely that Nadine de Klerk will retain her place. Also, due to the slow nature of the Sydney track, they might consider the preferring the off-breaks of Nondumiso Shangase over the pace of Ayabonga Khaka
Likely XI – Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk (captain), Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Laura Wolvaardt, Nadine de Klerk, Trisha Chetty (wicket-keeper), Shabnim Ismail, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba
Pakistan Squad – Bismah Maroof (captain), Javeria Khan, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper), Nida Dar, Aimen Anwar, Muneeba Ali, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Umaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Anam Amin, Iram Javed, Syeda Aroob Shah
The Pakistan team, under the captaincy of Bismah Maroof, have got some capable and experienced players. Bismah Maroof, herself, is an excellent middle-order batter who can take over the responsibility from the top order. Muneeba Ali will look to carry forward her good form in the domestic circuit. Javeria Khan is also a solid player who can look to anchoring the innings. The flamboyance of Nida Dar, Iram Javed, and Aliya Riaz will boost the score at the back-end of the innings. Nida Dar will also be expected to lead the bowling along with Aliya Riaz and Diana Baig. Anam Amin will look to roll her arm over. There will also be a handful of debutants looking forward to this chance.
Pakistan, however, suffered a big blow after Bismah Maroof injured her thumb during the match against England. She will not be participating in the remaining matches of the tournament. Javeria Khan will be leading the side in her absence. They will consider including an extra spinner in her place, considering the track, so Anam Amin can take her place. Some shuffling in the batting order may also be on the cards.\
Pakistan skipper Bismah Maroof has been ruled out of the #T20WorldCup with a broken thumb.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 29, 2020
Likely XI – Javeria Khan (captain), Muneeba Ali, Nida Dar, Iram Javed, Umaima Sohail, Aliya Riaz, Sidra Nawaz (wicket-keeper), Aiman Anwer, Diana Baig, Sadia Iqbal, Anam Amin
Players to Watch out for
Dan van Niekerk (South Africa) – Dan van Niekerk, is a very capable middle-order batter and will be looking to anchor the innings should the openers fail. She has played 79 T20Is scoring 1776 runs with as many as 10 half-centuries. She has also picked up 59 wickets, showing that she is an effective bowler as well, to add to her batting skills. Although she made a big error while batting against Thailand, she is quite an important player in the side, as evidenced by her contribution against England, picking up 2 wickets and scoring 46 runs off 51 balls to guide South Africa to victory.
Lizelle Lee (South Africa) – South Africa’s hard-hitting opener will set the tone for her side while batting. Having scored 1500+ runs with as many as 11 half-centuries and a strike rate of over a run-a-ball, she will look to score rapidly looking forward to building a strong foundation for her team. Her contribution will help South Africa in building the score further with the help of their experienced all-rounders. She was due for runs and ended up scoring a blistering century against Thailand in the last game which helped her rediscover her lost form.
Sune Luus (South Africa) – Due to the absence of the all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, South African all-rounder will be stepping up to bat higher up the order and fill in some overs as well. She has got a good record as an all-rounder 900+ runs and 47 wickets to her name in just 72 T20Is that she has played. With 1 four-wicket and 2 five-wicket hauls and the best bowling analysis of 5 wickets for just 8 runs, she will be lethal, especially in conditions like Sydney which aids spin. She scored a 41-ball 61 and took 3 wickets for 15 runs in the last game. South Africa would ideally want a repeat of that performance under Marizanne Kapp’s absence.
Nida Dar (Pakistan) – Nida Dar has a good record in this format as an all-rounder. She has played in 98 matches scoring 1640 runs. She also has 92 wickets to show for her bowling efforts. This makes her a very reliable all-rounder for her side. She also possesses the fire-power to strike the ball cleanly and accelerate the scoring with her cameos, as was evident during the fourth T20I game against South Africa last year, where she struck 75 off just 37 balls. She will be well-versed with Australian conditions, with her experience of playing in the recent Big Bash League.
Javeria Khan (Pakistan) – With the absence of Pakistan’s regular skipper, Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan will have an important role to play in the side. Apart from leading the side, she will have to anchor the innings while batting as the batting resources are quite limited now. She will have to be more responsible and not throw away her wicket after a start, as she has done in the past. She has 8 half-centuries to her name including a recent one against England during the tour of Malaysia, so she will be confident of herself and her abilities. This match will also be her 100th T20I for her side.
Pitch & Conditions
The match between South Africa and Pakistan will be played at the Sydney Showground Stadium. The only T20I match played here was the tournament opener between the hosts Australia and India. The match was won by India batting first on what looked like a wicket that would aid spin bowling. Spinners would be expected to dominate again as the conditions are more subcontinental than a typical Australian pitch which assists faster bowlers. A total of 5 WBBL matches were also played in which teams batting first won twice while the team batting second won thrice. The average score while batting first has been 130 with the highest being 164/3 in 20 overs by Sydney Sixers against Sydney Thunder.
The temperature is expected to stay between 21 and 28 degrees Celsius, which would not be overly uncomfortable for the players. However, it will be humid and sunny during the course of the match.
Will South Africa win and end the tournament for Pakistan? Or will Pakistan pull out a win and stay in contention for the playoffs? We can’t wait for this match. Follow us on Twitter for all the updates.