ICC World Cup 2019: Match 30, Pakistan vs South Africa, Preview – Battle for survival between the under-performing giants

It is a now or never for both sides and the two points at stake are priceless for either.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

The world of mathematical probabilities in cricket always gets the teams in a different frame of mind, distracting them from their primary targets sometimes. South Africa most certainly do not have their fate in their hands, but Pakistan could still get into the playoffs by winning their remaining games. The only facet against the Asian side is their horrendous net run-rate (-1.933).

Sarfaraz Ahmed and his troops have been under severe pressure in the last few days, especially after the humiliation in the hands of India. The whole team is in desperate need of a positive result to drive the fans away from their previous result. A defeat here could worsen their situation big time.


South Africa are on the brink of getting knocked out. A win here doesn’t guarantee them anything but a defeat would definitely book their return tickets to home. Both sides have so much at stake, which is what makes this game very exciting.

Playing Combinations


Imam and Fakhar’s contribution as openers has been nothing short of dismal up to this point. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez are the only ones who got some decent scores. Haris Sohail and Mohammad Hasnain are expected to replace the under-performing Shoaib Malik and Hasan Ali in the XI. Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz carry the burden of their side’s future in this tournament.

Probable XI

Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & wk), Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain

South Africa

Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla batted beautifully against Afghanistan and need to replicate something of the sort in this do-or-die fixture. Aiden Markram and David Miller have been disappointing but Faf could trust them with another game. Chris Morris has been brilliant with the cherry and needs some good assistance from Ngidi and Rabada. Imran Tahir, who has picked up 8 wickets thus far, will continue as the only spinner in the XI.

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Probable XI

Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

Focus will be on

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

The stakes are getting higher and the risk of getting knocked out bigger than ever before, this is a huge time for Pakistan and they need Babar Azam to chip in with some big scores. This is one great chance for him to write his name down in Pakistani history, just the way Inzamam-ul-Haq did in the 1992 edition. He is also inching closer towards the 3,000-run mark in ODIs.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

Kagiso Rabada was expected to storm headlines with his gruesome fast bowling, but nothing like that has happened yet. He was supposed to be the jewel in their crown, but they neither have the crown nor has the youngster proved himself to be a jewel. This is a huge moment for him to up the ante and showcase the caliber he possesses.

Head to head

Matches played – 78 | Pakistan won – 27 | South Africa won – 50 | No Result – 1

Stat Attack

56.50 – Babar Azam’s batting average against South Africa. This is his highest among the top six ODI sides.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports

Online– Hotstar

Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local