Inzamam and Sami doubtful for third one-dayer in Faisalabad today
South Africa aim to prevent Pakistan running away with series
* Home side will not complain about Andrew Hall
By Muhammad Ali
LAHORE: South Africa’s skipper Graeme Smith has shown concerns over his team’s performance in the first two day-night games at Gaddafi Stadium which the tourists lost by 08 and 42 runs respectively. South Africa take on Pakistan in the third contest in Faisalabad on Tuesday (today) with an aim to prevent Pakistan from clinching the five-match one-day series.
The South African skipper said Monday that his team had shot themselves in the foot. “We need to regroup and play really well to come back into the series now,” Smith told journalists. “The lack of penetration in the death (final) overs, the way we panicked and let ourselves down in the first two games, it is disappointing. “We controlled things in the middle of the innings in both matches but then let go. Chasing is a good choice, but we executed it badly. We were cruising along well on both occasions, but we panicked both times. We had the game under control Sunday. But three stupid run-outs and in 20 minutes we lost control.” He said the touring side would play real good cricket in the third tie which was very important and crucial for them. “We need consistency,” he added.
Wicket-keeper-batsman Morne van Wyk has been called up from South Africa. The tourists are also hopeful that opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs will be back in action after missing the first two games with a stomach muscle injury. He batted in the nets on Monday and also undertook a series of exercises under the supervision of team physio Shane Jabaar. The Proteas are the first high-profile team to play in Pakistan since New Zealand fled mid-series in the wake of a suicide car bomb attack outside their Karachi hotel which killed 11 French nationals and three Pakistanis in May 2002. Pakistan need to win one more match to complete their second successive one-day series win at home this season after the 5-0 clean sweep over Bangladesh.
Injured Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq and pacer Muhammad Sami are doubtful for today’s match. The batsman retired hurt with a hamstring problem, although he returned later in Sunday’s 42-run victory, while Sami has side strain. The Pakistan selectors have added batsman Naved Latif to the squad as cover, Yousuf Youhana is on stand-by to skipper the side. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also back in the squad after Mushtaq Ahmad was ruled out with a pulled abdomen muscle.
Despite taking a 2-0 lead, Inzamam is wary of a South African backlash. “South Africa are a world-class team and we know that big teams always come back strongly in the five-match series,” he said. “But so far we haven’t made many mistakes and I hope we will continue the good work.”
Inzamam played down a verbal clash involving South African all-rounder Andrew Hall and Youhana and said his side had not lodged a complaint. Hall appeared to elbow Youhana as he was completing a run. “We just want to play the series so we decided not to lodge any complaint and it was a team decision,” Inzamam said. The pair clashed in the 13th over of Pakistan’s innings and television replays suggested that after the batsman exchanged words with Hall he was elbowed as he took a single. Hall then confronted him, touching his bat and thrusting his face in Youhana’s, who responded angrily before umpire Nadeem Ghouri stepped between the players. Umpire Darrell Hair cautioned them both.
Pakistan (from): Muhammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Inzamamul Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Rashid Latif (wicketkeeper), Muhammad Sami, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmad, Saqlain Mushtaq, Danish Kaneria, Faisal Iqbal, Naved Latif.
South African (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Neil McKenzie, Jacques Rudolph, Robin Peterson, Andrew Hall, Alan Dawson, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel, Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Adams, Morne van Wyk.
Umpires: Darrell Hair (AUS) and Nadeem Ghauri (PAK)
TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)
Match referee: Clive LIoyd (WIs).