Pakistan’s quarter-final aim will be at stake when they taken on the devastating South Africa. Despite losing a game to India, South Africa are one of the tournament favorites, they put a target of 340 for Zimbabwe in the opening game and followed up with two 400-plus scores, 408 against the West Indies and 411 against Ireland.
Pakistan on the other hand started the tournament in disappointing form, losing to India and West Indies but have won their last two games, albeit against weaker opposition in Zimbabwe and UAE. Today’s fixture will be Pakistan real test of their quarter-final hopes. Pakistan are expected to drop misfiring opener Nasir Jamshed and give a world cup debut to wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed. Haris Sohail could also miss out due to injury. Pakistan may also look to include leg-spinner Yasir Shah who was dropped after playing the opening game against India.
Eden Park is typically a high scoring ground with flawless outfield and short straight boundaries. However the only match of this world cup played at Eden Park resulted in a low scoring but entertaining affair between Australia and New Zealand.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has advised the Pakistan team management to include spinner Yasir Shah. There had been suggestions that Yasir won’t play as the team management thinks that Yasir won’t be effective on a small ground, however Wasim said that such things do not matter and the team management should back him. Rain could have the final say however as the weather in Auckland is expected to be overcast throughout the day with chances of showers.
India beat the West Indies by four wickets on Thursday. West Indies decided to bat first after winning the toss but were reduced to 8-124 at one stage before Jason Holder dropped anchor, his 57 runs innings pushed the West Indies to a total of 182. India also stuttered in reply however Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni held the innings together giving India a 4-wicket win.
Ireland v Zimbabwe at Hobart
30th Match, Pool B
Pakistan v South Africa at Auckland
29th Match, Pool B