Afridi in as Pakistan elect to field against South Africa
BLOEMFONTEIN: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bowl in the first one-day international against South Africa on Sunday.
South Africa fast bowler Kyle Abbott was selected for his ODI debut, picked ahead of Morne Morkel. Abbot made a stunning Test debut last month when he took nine wickets in a man of the match performance against Pakistan.
Pakistan included just two specialist seamers in Umar Gul and Junaid Khan with Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik giving them spinning options.
South Africa whitewashed Pakistan 3-0 in the Test series before the visitors clinched the Twenty20 series 1-0 after the first game was washed out.
South Africa: A.B. de Villiers (captain), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram, Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinveldt, Kyle Abbott, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.
Umpires: Johan Colete, South Africa, and Kumar Dharmasena, Sri Lanka.
TV umpire: Billy Bowden, New Zealand. Match referee: Andy Pycroft, Zimbabwe.
No rift between Misbah and Hafeez, says Cheema
Pakistan cricket team manager, Naveed Akram Cheema has denied any rift between Pakistan T-20 Captain , Muhammd Hafeez and one day and test captain, Mishab ul Haq.
“It is a part of negative propaganda against the team and its members which aims at demoralizing its confidence ahead of the one-day series after its success in T-20 match “,he told APP here on Friday from South Africa.
Pakistan will open its five ODI match series on March 10 with rest of the matches on March 15,17,21 and 24.
He said it was unfortunate that some vested interests are propagating against the team by involving its players in a rift to stir controversies prior to its one-day series. “The team is fully united and there is no rift between Hafeez or Misbah or any other player and all the players are looking to one-day series with renewed zeal”,he said. He said giving air to unfounded rifts, incidents would serve no purpose as the players are focusing on the one-day games which are challenging and there is no time to concentrate on issues which are far from reality.
The team official said the team management is endeavouring to motivate the team for producing a better show to outshine South African opponents in the one day matches.
“It has become a common practice to launch a propaganda campagin against the team by targeting players ahead of an important event but the team management is fully aware of the situation and is determined to defy all such moves in the larger interest of Pak team and cricket “,he said adding “Our aim is to take Pak cricket high with our team playing quality cricket and producing productive results.”
Proteas face Pakistan seeking ODI improvement
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa: Since Gary Kirsten took over as South African coach in June 2011 the country’s Test team has risen relentlessly to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings. The performances of the one-day side, though, have been patchy at best.
A five-match series against Pakistan, starting at Chevrolet Park here on Sunday (today), marks a change of focus for the Proteas, who have slipped to fourth place in the rankings for the 50-over format. Pakistan are sixth on a tightly-bunched table.
Kirsten said South Africa could play as many as 20 One-day Internationals before their next Test series, against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.“It’s nice to have an extended period of One-day Internationals,” he said. “This is an important period for the ODI team.”
Of immediate concern for South Africa is the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June, the team’s next major engagement after the Pakistan series.The country’s consistent failure to win big tournaments is one of the issues that Kirsten has pledged to address.
Although South Africa have a less than stellar one-day record of 10 wins and eight losses under Kirsten, the coach is not over-concerned because the international schedule has dictated an emphasis on five-day cricket.
“We have had a lot of Test cricket,” he said.Nor was he concerned about a lop-sided 95-run defeat in a Twenty20 International at Centurion last Sunday, which he dismissed as a “one-off” game, irrelevant to the one-day challenge.
South Africa were beaten 2-1 at home by New Zealand in their most recent one-day series after winning both Tests against the Black Caps by an innings.Pakistan shape up as a bigger threat with players such as Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar — all of whom missed their side’s recent 3-0 Test series defeat — adding experience and skill to the squad.
The Pakistanis seem to have most of their bases covered, with a mix of quick-scoring batsmen and a well-balanced bowling attack, while the fielding in the Twenty20 match was of a high standard.
South Africa, though, are likely to be a more organised team than that which lost to New Zealand — and a great deal stronger than the T20 side — with stars such as Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Test captain Graeme Smith returning to the squad.
Steyn will be rested for the first match, though, and Morkel is doubtful because of a hamstring injury.Leading all-rounder Jacques Kallis will not be in action as he is being rested as part of a programme to extend the career of the 37-year-old.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wkt), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat, Abdur Rehman.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain/wkt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
March 10: First One-day International, Bloemfontein (day). 15: Second One-day International, Centurion (day-night). 17: Third One-day International, Johannesburg (day). 21: Fourth One-day International, Durban (day). 24: Fifth One-day International, Benoni (day).
Pakistan to bowl, Abbott debuts
Kyle Abbott completed a hat-trick of debuts in three weeks as he made his maiden ODI appearance for South Africa following Test and Twenty20 appearances. Abbott replaced Morne Morkel who didn’t recover from the left hamstring strain that kept him out of the third Test.
That left South Africa without Morkel and Dale Steyn – who is still in Los Angeles with his girlfriend – and a somewhat inexperienced bowling attack. Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Rory Kleinveldt and Ryan McLaren made up the pace attack, along with Abbott.
They would to wait until the second half of the match because Misbah-ul-Haq chose to put South Africa in on a sunny, breezy morning in Bloemfontein. AB de Villiers did not mind the decision because he hoped South Africa’s batting could do a job upfront. The line-up was as expected with Colin Ingram and Farhaan Behardien both keeping their places.
Pakistan included Asad Shafiq and two all-rounders in Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. Mohammad Irfan missed out with Umar Gul and Junaid Khan the two senior seamers.
South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Colin Ingram 4 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Ryan McLaren, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Rory Kleinvedlt, 10 Kyle Abbott, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Pakistan: 1 Nasir Jamshed, 2 Mohammed Hafeez, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Asad Shafiq, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Junaid Khan
South Africa,Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Colin Ingram , AB de Villiers (capt & wk), Faf du Plessis, Farhaan Behardien, Ryan McLaren, Robin Peterson, Rory Kleinvedlt, Kyle Abbott,Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Pakistan, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammed Hafeez, Younis Khan,Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi,Umar Gul,Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan,
Pakistan tour ,South Africa, 1st ODI,South Africa v Pakistan, Bloemfontein, Mar 10 2013
CENTURION: South Africa won the toss and decided to bat in the second one-day international against Pakistan at SuperSport Park on Friday.
PREVIEW: Misbah must play his best cards in second ODI | Fielding: Pakistan are 20 years behind South Africa | “Project yorker”: South Africa learning from Wasim, Waqar | ‘Pakistan facing fast bowling crisis’