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Pakistan vs South Africa, 7th Match, Group B - Live Cricket Score, Commentary

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Pakistan vs South Africa, 7th Match, Group B - Live Cricket Score, Commentary

Will he, Won't he? Can Russell Domingo earn an extension as South Africa's coach? AB de Villiers has his two cents.
Preview by Tristan Holme
Mickey Arthur did not mince his words after Pakistan's woeful defeat to India. On top of admitting that some of his players "were in the clouds at the start" and that they "do the simple things wrong", he called the match "a reality check of where we are in our one-day cricket at the moment".

Arthur has come in for some criticism himself over the past few days from former players back in Pakistan, and it will be interesting to see what sort of change he has been able to affect on his team during a short turnaround. Clearly Pakistan will need to improve hugely if they are going to compete with the top-ranked team in this format and keep their competition hopes alive when they face South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday (June 7).

To do that, both Arthur and Shahid Afridi have called on a fairly inexperienced Pakistan unit to back themselves. "My issue is fear," Arthur said after the India game. "My issue is getting out there and really looking to take the game on and just believing in themselves and believing that they can take the game on."

"Pakistan batsmen need to free their minds and play with a positive mindset," wrote Afridi, who was never shy of doing so himself. Certainly Pakistan have nothing to lose, and if they are going to go out of the tournament then they might as well do so in an entertaining manner. Another facile performance like Sunday's would not go down well.

An aggressive approach is also the best way to put South Africa off its game. Sri Lanka were unable to push the Proteas for long enough to induce signs of panic at The Oval on the weekend, but teams know South Africa's tendency to crack during extended spells of pressure. In fact, Pakistan achieved that in the last meeting between these two sides, at the 2015 World Cup, when they successfully defended a target of 232 despite South Africa making a positive start.

That famed mental fragility appears to be the only potential defect in an otherwise well-functioning South Africa machine that purred to a 96-run win over Sri Lanka on Saturday. One small change that was overlooked in that game was David Miller and JP Duminy switching batting positions, with Miller moving up a place. Given that his best innings have come when he's had more time to set himself, and that Duminy has finished the innings well in South Africa's last two ODIs, the Proteas thinktank may have struck on a better batting order.

When: 7th June, 2017 at 1:30 PM Local Time; 6pm IST

Where: Edgbaston, Birmingham

What to expect: Large amounts of rain have fallen in Birmingham since Sunday, but the skies started to clear on Tuesday afternoon and no rain is forecast for this match. How the recent weather has affected the groundsman's preparation remains to be seen though. In both games at this venue in the past week, the team batting first has scored at 6.5 runs per over or better.

Team News:

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed went ahead and named his side for the game, confirming that Junaid Khan will come in for the injured Wahab Riaz, while Fakhar Zaman will make his ODI debut in Ahmed Shehzad's place.

Probable XI: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali

South Africa: After three rainy days in Birmingham, South Africa were yet to see the pitch that will be used in the game, and were unsure about whether they will tweak the side that comfortably beat Sri Lanka. Although they have plenty of options, that team is probably their best XI unless the pitch warrants a second spinner - which seems unlikely to be the case at Edgbaston.

Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Stats and Trivia:

- Pakistan have won three of the last four games between these two sides, including the 2015 World Cup encounter in Auckland. However only two Pakistan players from that game - Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed - are part of the current squad, while only three players - Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott - are missing for South Africa.

- These two teams met at this venue during the 2013 Champions Trophy, with South Africa posting 234 for nine before bowling Pakistan out for 167. Hashim Amla was the star performer with 81.


"I think India-Pakistan was a big match. A couple of youngsters were playing their first match against India and maybe they felt a bit of pressure." Sarfraz Ahmed hopes there will be less nerves from some of his players in a lower-profile game.

"Obviously the last team we used had a good game of cricket at The Oval, but it's a new ground. Once we see the wicket and once we have an opportunity to have a discussion around that, we'll make a call." AB de Villiers confirms South Africa could change their combination despite a good outing at The Oval.
South Africa (From): Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien
Pakistan (From): Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Fahim Ashraf, Ahmed Shehzad
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