Pakistan to face South Africa in first ODI today

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CENTURION – Pakistan and South Africa are set to face each other in a three-match ODI series held in South Africa. The first ODI will be held at SuperSport Park, Centurion today (Friday).

For Pakistan, this series will be an opportunity to showcase their capacity in the ODI format, they have played only five ODIs since the 2019 World Cup but will be hoping to replicate their Test and T20I form in ODIs.

Babar Azam will be eyeing Hashim Amla s record of the fastest to complete 13 ODI tons (83 innings), he is currently sitting on 12 centuries in 75 inning.

Asif Ali will replace Saud Shakeel in Pakistan s ODI squad after Shakeel suffered an injury during a practice match.

South Africa will be hoping to put their recent series loss behind them where Pakistan won both the Test and T20I series when the two sides faced each other over a month ago.

The Proteas side will be led by newly-appointed captain Temba Bavuma. He has only featured in six ODIs for South Africa and will be replacing Quinton de Kock. Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder return to the ODI side after being on the sidelines due to injuries.

Former skipper Faf du Plessis was left out of both the Proteas’ ODI and T20I squads, his exclusion comes as a shock after he indicated a willingness to continue to represent South Africa in white-ball cricket.

Remember the last time:

The last time both sides faced each other in ODIs was when they met in the ICC Men s Cricket World Cup group stages in 2019. In that match, Pakistan set a total of 308 riding on the contributions of Haris Sohail (89) and Babar Azam (69).

South Africa fell short in the chase after Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz both picked up three wickets each and Pakistan went on to win the match by 49 runs.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said: “We have the opportunity, building up to the 2023 World Cup, to define our style of play and how we want to go about our business,” “We ve had fruitful chats in the team and things are starting to become clearer. For me, it s to enjoy this journey, this new chapter in my book. It s to create that style of play and to create something that makes us accountable, and be able to institute that style of play in any conditions and on any occasion. That s where my thinking is. Mentally we ll have to improve in terms of getting stronger.”

Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: “These are the tough times because of the pandemic, but at the same time it s our duty as different nations to keep going, keep helping each other, and keep this game alive.”

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