After edging out South Africa by just three runs in the opening T20 International (T20I), Pakistan will look to close out the series in the second T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Saturday. It was a terrific start to the series for the hosts, who rode on a century from Mohammad Rizwan and some clinical performances from their bowlers to hold on to the narrow win. It’s back to the drawing board for the new-look South African side, led by Heinrich Klaasen. They gave the hosts a run for their money and will look to cross the line and level the series in the second game.
The match at Gaddafi on Thursday (February 11) was the first T20I between the two nations in two years. In the 15 matches they’ve played against each other, the Proteas have a slight edge with eight wins, while Pakistan have won seven. However, Pakistan have won three out of their last five T20Is against South Africa.
Overall: 15 Matches | Pakistan 7 Wins | South Africa – 8 Wins
Last 5 Matches: Pakistan – 3 Wins | South Africa – 2 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Ground details and team combination
The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore has witnessed as many as six T20Is since 2020. Since 2020, the bowlers have struck once every 32.2 runs, 25.5 balls apart.
There is not much of a difference between the pacers and the spinners. The fast bowlers have picked up a wicket every 32.1 runs, 24.9 balls apart at an economy rate of 7.7. For the spinners, the corresponding numbers are 32.5, 26.7 and 7.3. In a nutshell, it is the pacers, who are slightly better when it comes to picking up wickets at regular intervals and do it with a minutely lesser runs per wicket ratio, but concede 0.4 runs per over more than the spinners. However, the pacers have picked up the higher share of wickets.
In the first T20I, four wickets were picked up by spinners and six by fast bowlers. If the same pitch is used, there could be some wear and tear on the track and as a result, there could be more purchase for the spinners. There was a vast difference with the tweakers from both the teams: While the hosts picked up 2 for 48 in their nine overs, the Proteas, on the other hand, were a lot expensive, finishing with 2 for 57 from eight overs. The match could eventually be decided by the spinners, which was the case in the first game.
In T20Is since 2020 at the Gaddafi, the average first innings score has been 149, while the average target chased at the venue is 140. Pakistan got well over that in the first game and if the team batting first got a score in excess of 150, they should be in a comfortable position. Winning the toss and batting could be the way to go. In the last 10 matches, the team batting first have lost just thrice at this venue.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
Tabraiz Shamsi caused some problems in the first game, conceding just five an over from his four overs. He also picked up the wicket of Hussain Talat, not for the first time in T20s. The chinaman bowler got the better of the Pakistan middle-order batsman in 2019 at Newlands as well. Talat has scored just 28 runs from 21 deliveries he has faced from Shamsi so far and lasted just two deliveries against him in the first match. Can Shamsi do it again?
Faheem Ashraf and David Miller have faced each other twice in T20s, with the fast bowler getting rid of the southpaw on both occasions. Miller has faced just five balls from Ashraf and managed just a couple of runs. Will be interesting to see who gets the upper hand in the second T20I.
It would be naïve not to cash in on Mohammad Rizwan’s current form. His last two internationals innings has seen him score two unbeaten centuries and one wouldn’t bet against him adding to his tally in the second T20I. He was also excellent behind the wickets, inflicting an acrobatic run-out and also took a catch. Considering that he opens the batting, he could once again get a big score on the board to put Pakistan on top.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rizwan could score 15 to 38 runs in this match.
The South African batsmen could not pick Usman Qadir in the first game and he proved to be quite a handful. He got the wicket of Jacques Snyman with a googly and before that he bamboozled Janneman Malan with a peach to knock over his off stump. In his short T20I career, he has made quite an impact, picking up 10 wickets from four matches at a strike-rate of nine, an average of 8.1 and a miserly economy rate of just 5.40. The leg-spinner could very well be among the wickets once again.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Qadir could pick up 0-1 wicket in this match.
Bjorn Fortuin proved that he is a handy bowler, a dynamic fielder and can be a threat with the bat down the order as well. The left-arm orthodox spinner ran Babar Azam out in the first over, picked up the wicket of Ifthikar Ahmed and nearly took his team home with the bat right at the end. We could once again see him bowl in the powerplay, which gives him a great opportunity to strike.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Fortuin could pick up 0-1 wicket in this match.
Reeza Hendricks played well for his 54 in the first match after initially taking his time to settle down. However, he scored a much-needed half-century that took his team close to a victory. He negotiated the spinners successfully (Strike-rate 121.05) in the middle phase, which was key to him getting a big score. He will once again look to be among the runs in the second T20I.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hendricks could score 15-38 runs in this match.