• Pakistan win toss, put Proteas in

    The Proteas will bat first in the first T20I at Newlands after Pakistan – the No 1 T20 side in the world – won the toss and decided to bowl first, writes KHALID MOHIDIN. 

    After a positive start to the day by the Proteas Women when they defeated the Sri Lanka Women by seven wickets in the first match of the day at Newlands, the Proteas men will look to keep the #ProteaFire burning bright with a strong batting display in the first T20I of the series against a powerful Pakistan lineup.

    The ODI series should have prepared the Proteas for the challenge they are going to face, with Pakistan’s T20 personnel very similar to their ODI outfit.

    The Proteas have rested Quinton de Kock again, with Heinrich Klaasen back in alongside Gihahn Cloete, the latter taking the gloves. David Miller, Chris Morris, Junior Dala and Tabraiz Shamsi are other changes from the last match of the ODI series. The selectors had hinted that they would be giving chances to players, who missed out in the ODI series, to push their claims for a World Cup spot.

    Pakistan is a daunting opponent. They have won their last 11 series and are unbeaten in their last nine T20Is. This is in massive contrast to the Proteas, who have won only five series out of the last 11.

    Players to Watch:

    Heinrich Klaasen was dropped from the ODI squad for Rassie van der Dussen and the latter has stormed onto the scene, scoring three half-centuries in his debut series to help the Proteas clinch a 3-2 win. Klaasen showed his ability in the ODI format, but has struggled to push on and to make that No 6 spot his own. The T20Is will give the wicketkeeper-batsman another opportunity to prove himself and stake his claim for World Cup selection.

    Asif Ali returns to what is now his home ground after his successful stint for the Cape Town Blitz in the inaugural Mzansi Super League. He showed his ability in the match against the Tshwane Spartans at Newlands when he smashed a remarkable 80 off only 33 deliveries, including seven fours and five sixes. He will be familiar with the ground, and especially the T20 format.

    1) Reeza Hendricks
    2) Gihahn Cloete
    3) Rassie van der Dussen
    4) Faf du Plessis
    5) David Miller
    6) Heinrich Klaasen
    7) Andile Phehlukwayo
    8) Chris Morris
    9) Beuran Hendricks
    10) Junior Dala
    11) Tabraiz Shamsi 

    1) Fakhar Zaman
    2) Babar Azam
    3) Hussain Talat
    4) Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
    5) Shoaib Malik (c)
    6) Asif Ali
    7) Imad Wasim
    8) Shadab Khan
    9) Faheem Ashraf
    10) Hasan Ali
    11) Usman Shinwari

    Photo: Getty Images 


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    Khalid Mohidin