Pakistan face South Africa in first ODI today

First One Day International of the five-match series between Pakistan and South Africa will be played today at Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The tourists were mauled in the Test series, with none of the three matches going beyond lunch on the fourth day, but have reason to be optimistic in the 50-overs game where fast short-pitched bowling will likely not be a decisive factor.

For both teams, the series is an important step towards the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales later this year.

Pakistan will be banking on the return of experienced batsmen Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez as well as Fakhar Zaman who was the green shirts best batsman during the previous ODI series against New Zealand with 154 runs.

South Africa, on the other hand, have gone in the other direction, including the uncapped pair of Rassie van der Dussen and Duanne Olivier in their squad. In the absence of Dale Steyn, who has been rested for first two games, Olivier will expect to lead the attack from the front, who topped the charts with 24 wickets against Pakistan in the Test series.

Port Elizabeth usually has one of the slowest pitches in South Africa, which should suit the tourists. In their most recent appearance at the ground, in November 2013, they clinched their only ODI series win in South Africa.

The match will start at 4pm Pakistan Standard Time..

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt