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CWC 2023: PAK vs SA - Top player battles to watch out for

For cricket buffs, there will be a great chance to relish some mouth-watering clashes between some illustrious names in the encounter between two big teams.

By Rounak Tewari

Updated - 29 Oct 2023, 17:29 IST

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Pakistan and South Africa will lock horns with each other at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in match No. 26 of the Cricket World Cup 2023. Following the eight-wicket thumping at the hands of Afghanistan, the Men in Green will have to win the contest against the Proteas. Pakistan are in a perilous situation in this tournament, holding the fifth spot on the points table with two victories and three defeats.

Talking about South Africa’s journey, they are looking confident in the competition, with four triumphs and one loss in five outings. The Proteas have looked perfect in all departments of the game so far, and their endeavours will be to beat the Green Army and continue their scintillating form. In this huge contest, both sides will bank on their key players to win this massive encounter. For cricket buffs, there will be a great chance to relish a mouth-watering clash between some illustrious names.

Here are the top player battles to watch out for

3. Heinrich Klaasen versus Haris Rauf  

Heinrich Klaasen and Haris Rauf. (Photo Source: Matthew Lewis-ICC, Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Heinrich Klaasen has done his job efficiently as a middle-order batter for South Africa. He has racked up 288 runs in five matches at a stellar strike rate of 150.78. In his team’s 229-run win against the defending champions England, the right-handed batter played a spunky knock of 109 off 67.

Noting Klaasen’s form, it will be interesting to see how he counters Pakistan’s pace attack. In the absence of Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi has justified his role in the Pakistan squad, while Haris Rauf is completely out of rhythm nowadays. Rauf, who is a pivotal member of Pakistan’s fast-bowling unit, has picked up eight wickets in five outings but splurged runs at a terrible economy of 6.97. 

In the big game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, eyes will be set on the encounter between Klaasen and Rauf. Both have faced each other in two innings of the one-day internationals (ODIs), in which the aggressive Proteas scored two runs in six deliveries while the ferocious pacer didn’t get the wicketkeeper-batter’s scalp.

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