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Last chance for Pakistan, SA to firm up plans

The Monday match is South Africa’s only warm-up fixture prior to the ICC Champions Trophy, while Pakistan too has only this match for practice after the game against Sri Lanka was washed out

Last chance for Pakistan, SA to firm up plans - Cricket News
South Africa's Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy have struck form recently returning from injuries.
South Africa and Pakistan last played against one another in a tightly-contested One-Day International series in March this year, with South Africa winning by a 3-2 margin. With both teams possessing considerable strength in their bowling attacks, it was expected that the bowlers on each side would come to the fore, and that is what happened.  

Both are likely to bank on their bowlers for the ICC Champions Trophy in England too, and will have a chance to test out their relative strengths when they face off in a warm-up clash at The Oval in London on Monday (June 3).  

South Africa will be without two of its most experienced members in Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith, and while AB de Villiers, the captain, acknowledged that they would be missed, he pointed out that their absence had given new players an opportunity to shine.  

South Africa already took positive steps in its match against Netherlands, with JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis, both returning from injuries, hitting rich form in an 84-run win. South Africa was without Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel too, and when the two return, the side will wear a formidable look despite of the absence of the stalwarts.  

Pakistan’s preparations might have been set back a tad with its first warm-up match against Sri Lanka washed outon Thursday, but the side will be battle-hardened enough after two close shaves against Ireland, with a tie and a last-gasp win. Pakistan will be aware that South Africa will pose a much greater challenge, as indeed will the other teams in the competition, but Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain, can draw some consolation from the fact that the team has had some time to get acclimatised and has the talent to beat anyone if everything falls into place.  

South Africa has only this warm-up match before the tournament starts, while Pakistan also effectively has only this one match after the washout. As such, though this might be a warm-up and both teams are likely to experiment, there shouldn’t be any let-up in intensity from either.  

Teams (from):   South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt, wk), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.  

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Abdur Rehman, Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ehsan Adil, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz.

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