Pakistan win toss and bowl in series decider

Pakistan win toss and bowl in series decider


Zahid Mahmood debuts as hosts seek to dodge wet-ball factor in second innings

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl vs South Africa

In a series where the chasing team has had the advantage against a wet ball, Pakistan opted to field first in the finale. South Africa had won the previous two tosses and did the same, and though they did not win the first match, it was clear that the side fielding second struggled to control the ball in the moisture caused by heavy fog. Pakistan won that match by three runs but lost the second, where South Africa completed a relatively straightforward chase.

Both sides expect conditions to be more spinner-friendly than they have been so far, with South Africa swapping out medium-pacer Glenton Stuurman for left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin in the only change they’ve made to their team. Jon-Jon Smuts and Tabraiz Shamsi are the other two spin options.

Pakistan have shuffled the batting order and introduced Asif Ali into the middle-order while leaving out both Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah while bolstering the bowling with the inclusion of debutant legspinner Zahid Mahmood. They also brought in Hasan Ali in place of Haris Rauf.

While Pakistan have already won the Test series and are seeking a second trophy at home this season, South Africa have not won a T20 series since March 2019, when they beat Sri Lanka at home. Since then, they have lost to England twice and Australia and drawn a series in India, where one match was rained off.

Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Haider Ali 4 Hussain Talat, 5 Asif Ali, 6 Faheem Ashraf, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Usman Qadir, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Zahid Mahmood

South Africa:: 1 Janneman Malan, 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Jon-Jon Smuts, 4 Pite van Bilkon, 5 Heinrich Klaasen (capt &wk), 6 David Miller, 7 Dwaine Pretorius, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Bjorn Fortuin, 10 Lutho Sipamla 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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