Third T20I preview: Pakistan to play for pride, South Africa eye whitewash

Hosts lead three-match series 2-0 going into the third T20I on Wednesday

Third T20I preview: Pakistan to play for pride, South Africa eye whitewash PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan will look to end the South Africa tour on a high as they will face Proteas in the third and final T20I of the series, which will be played in Centurion on Wednesday.

The Men in Green had a horrid tour where they suffered 3-0 whitewash in the five-day format, 3-2 defeat in the 50-over format and are now 2-0 down in three-match T20I series.

With Sarfraz rested for the last match, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik will lead the team on Wednesday as well.

Even though the visitors have lost both matches in the series, the team will feel hard-done by as they suffered defeats by just six and seven runs margin in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The results become even more painful as the Men in Green had a solid beginning on both occasions, and lost the match after coming into a commanding position.

Pakistan’s batting is doing reasonably well in the series especially in the presence of in-form Babar Azam, who has notched 42 and 90 in two games thus far, but on both occasions, finished on the losing side.

Surprisingly, the area of concern for the Green Caps will be their bowling unit, who has conceded two consecutive scores of 180.

After a disastrous final over in the second match, left-arm pacer Usman Khan Shinwari is likely to be rested for the third T20I and likely to be replaced by left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir.

That might not be the only change in the playing eleven as veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez might make a comeback as well after missing first two matches of the series due to fitness problems.

Another reason to worry for the team management is the form of leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who looked least impressive in the series so far and looked out of rhythm.

The only positive for Pakistan in the bowling department is left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who looked the best bowler on show. The Karachi Kings’ captain claimed figures of one for 23 and one for nine in the two matches so far.

Meanwhile, South Africa stand-in captain David Miller — who led the side for the first time in his career in the second T20I — had a great time overall and with the bat as well, which earned him the player-of-the-match award.

After an impressive performance in Johannesburg, no changes are likely in the final eleven of the home side which means the likes of Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen will get another chance to show what they are capable of with the bat in hand.