Pakistan to play South Africa in decisive tie today

Two back-to-back defeats in the Super Eight have left defending champions Pakistan with only a slim possibility of making the semis of the World Twenty20. When they face South Africa in their last Group Eight match in St Lucia today, Pakistan will not only be hoping for a big success, but will also have a prayer on their lips.

On Saturday, Pakistan lost their thrilling Super Eight match to New Zealand by just one run at the Kensington Oval. When they take the field Monday, Pakistan will not only have to win by a big margin but also hope that England convincingly beat New Zealand in the other match.

Pakistan who looked a hapless outfit under Shahid Afridi in the tournament will likely to replace Hafeez with Khalid Latif. Skipper Afridi said the banning of several senior players and ongoing disciplinary action by home officials was hampering the team’s defence of its World Twenty20 title.

South Africa, however, are on the verge of a semi-final berth if they win the match. The only thing that would worry South African captain Graeme Smith is the team’s batting.

But he would expect his bowlers to bend their back and restrict Pakistan to a small total. But the slow bowlers will be the key and off-spinner Johan Botha will have big role to play alongside pace spearhead Dale Steyn and Charl Langeveldt.

Another match of the group will be played between the frontrunner England and New Zealand whose captain Vettori said the St. Lucia will be more suitable for his team.

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