The South Africa vs Pakistan ODI series is perfectly set up as the two sides prepare to play a deciding match in Benoni on Sunday after Pakistan won the fourth ODI to level the series at 2-2. The winner of this match will win the series so there is everything to play for. It will be a rare series win for Pakistan in South Africa if they manage to keep a cool temperate and win the series decider.
Beaten by New Zealand in their previous series, South Africa are in danger of losing back-to-back home two-team series for the first time. They were shoddy with the willow in the fourth one-day international in Durban and have lacked consistency at the key time. We expect them to remain unchanged except for one as Graeme Smith ruled out with a recurrence of an ankle injury. But there are some more possible tweaks we should be aware of. Kyle Abbott could replace Rory Kleinveldt in the bowling department while Quinton de Kock may usurp Farhaan Berhardien, or possibly Graeme Smith who has been useless, averaging 13.
It is Pakistan’s bowling which has kept them in this series. Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz were superb in Durban and the tourists will hope for more of the same. Irfan and Junaid took three wickets each while Wahab was miserly, conceding 16 runs off four overs. Because he bowled only a short spell, however, we have to wonder whether he is an injury doubt. Umar Gul could replace him but he has been struggling with a niggle himself. Sohail Tanvir, the left-armer, would be a more than useful addition, however. Imran Farhat replaced Nasir Jamshed last time and it was a fine call. We have been waiting all tour for a score from Jamshed to no avail. Farhat responded with 93 from 144 balls.
Match Timings: Mar 24, 2013 (10:00 local | 08:00 GMT | 13:30 IST)
South Africa (probable) 1 Graeme Smith 2 Hashim Amla 3 Colin Ingram, 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 David Miller/Quinton de Kock, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Ryan McLaren 8 Robin Peterson 9 Dale Steyn, 10 and 11 Kyle Abbott/Rory Kleinveldt/Morne Morkel.
Pakistan (probable) 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Mohammad Hafeez, 3 Kamran Akmal (wk), 4 Younis Khan/Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul/Wahab Riaz/Sohail Tanvir, 9 Saeed Ajmal 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammsd Irfan/Sohail Tanvir.