Match number 26 of the ODI World Cup 2023 between Pakistan and South Africa is a crucial game for both teams. The game is to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
South Africa came into the game with eight points from the five games played so far. The net run-rate for the South African side is a massive +2.37 and a win on Friday will take them to the top of the table.
Pakistan, on the other hand, has lost their last three games. Their last game in Chennai saw them lose to Afghanistan by eight wickets. This has left the 1992 World Cup winners with just four points from five games. One more loss on Friday could end their hopes of reaching the final four as Babar Azam and his team need to win all their games.
What does the weather hold?
Chennai is set to witness rains in the coming days but Friday is not the day for the rain gods to play spoilsport. The afternoon is going to be very hot with a maximum of 31 degrees Celsius.
It should be a bit better in the evening for both teams. The captain winning the toss might want to bowl first. This is the fourth and final game of the ODI World Cup 2023 to be played in Chennai.
In the previous three games of the tournament only once has a team won after batting first. In the other three encounters, the teams chasing have won the matches as batting gets better under the lights.
In the game between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Babar Azam-led side scored 282 runs at the same venue. the Afghanistan team chased it down with 8 wickets in hand and an over to spare. Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, and Rahmat Shah scored half-centuries for their side.
The South African team will into the game with a huge wave of confidence. South Africa is the only side in this ODI World Cup 2023 to post 300 and above scores on a consistent basis. The Pakistani team will be wary of the form, that Quinton De Kock, Aiden Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen are currently in.
One can expect a few changes from the Pakistani side as well. Mohammad Nawaz could come in to replace either Shadab Khan or Usama Mir. There could also be a case for Mohammad Wasim Jr to replace the misfiring Haris Rauf.