Fourth ODI: Pakistan face South Africa with series on the line

The venue for the match is Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg

Fourth ODI: Pakistan face South Africa with series on the line PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan have all to play for as they face South Africa in the fourth ODI at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg— with the series on the line.  

The Men in Green made a fantastic start to the series by winning the first ODI in Port Elizabeth to go one-up in the series. But the Proteas made a resounding comeback by winning the next two matches — in Durban and Centurion.

Pakistan may feel slightly hard done by as they ended up on the wrong side of the result in a rain-affected third ODI — despite posting a total in excess of 300. The match was stopped twice by rain and when the second interruption brought the match to an end, South Africa were 187 for two after 33 overs — ahead of the DLS par of 174.

Although rain played spoilsport in the previous match but Pakistan must feel confident about winning the next couple of encounters.

Sarfraz Ahmed-led unit have been good with the bat during the series — apart from the collapse in the second ODI — supplemented by the fact that they have a good bowling lineup, which can challenge most teams in the world.

Keeping in mind opener Fakhar Zaman’s poor run of form with the bat — during the tour so far — Pakistan might give backup opener Shan Masood a chance in the coloured clothing. The rest of the side is expected to remain the same.

On the other hand, South Africa would be keen on ensuring that momentum stays on their side as they eye ODI series win.

It must be noted that South Africa have never lost a match on their annual PinkDay — which is used as a tool for breast cancer awareness and raising funds for the same cause — and they would be hoping that the eight edition of the fixture proves similar.  

The home side is likely to persist with the same lineup that played the third ODI but they could be tempted to bring leg-spinner Imran Tahir in the side, beraing his mind his good track record at the venue. The 39-year-old has claimed seven wickets at an average of 22.57 at the Wanderers and would add another dimension to the Proteas bowling attack through his variations.   

With Rain and thunderstorms expected on Sunday, the match could be interrupted by rain frequently.  

The pitch at the Wanderers is expected to a good one for the batsmen and chances of a high-scoring match are likely.

The side batting second have a better chance of winning the match as out of 46 ODIs on the venue, 20 have been won by the team batting first and 26 by the side chasing.