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ICC Champions Trophy Preview: In-form South Africa hold all the aces against lacklustre Pakistan

The clash is virtually a do-or-die match for Pakistan

T2 Online Newsdesk 7 June 2017, 6:49 PM
Pakistan team before the India match

Pakistan team before the India match Image: AFP

In-form South Africa will look to seal a spot in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, while Pakistan will aim to bounce back after being annihilated by India in their Group B match at Edgbaston.

Pakistan lost their opening game by 124 runs to India through Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method in a rain-affected match. This must-win clash against South Africa will need Pakistan to put forth a much-improved performance to keep their hopes alive in the tournament.

Pakistan bowlers seemed toothless against India and their batsman failed to mount any sort of challenge. The poor fielding efforts only added to their all-around woes. Pacer Mohammad Amir and opener Azhar Ali were the only players who put in a promising display against Virat Kohli's men.

Pakistan will play without their frontline left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz for the rest of the Champions Trophy, who picked an ankle injury in the game against India. Left-arm pacer Amir's fitness is also a matter of concern after he had to go off the field with cramps but he should be fine on time to take his place in the playing side.

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf, batsman Fakhar Zaman and left-arm pacer Junaid Khan are the possible players most likely to come into the Pakistan side.

On the other hand, South Africa are coming off a brilliant all-round performance against Sri Lanka and will look to continue their momentum against Pakistan.

With the likes of Hashim Amla and Faf Du Plessis in the batting department and leg-spinner Imran Tahir spearheading the bowling battery, the Proteas will look to dominate Pakistan.

A win will see them through to the semi-finals from Group B. Expectedly, there will be no changes to their side that crushed Sri Lanka by 96 runs.

(With inputs from IANS)

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