Big game for S Africa, England

Champs Pakistan face Kiwis

Big game for  S Africa, England

While England defeated Pakistan by six wickets in their first match of the Super Eight stage on Thursday, South Africa also produced a clinical performance to get the better of New Zealand by 13 runs in the other match of the day.

With each of them having two points in the kitty, both the Englishmen and Proteas will be aiming to continue with the winning momentum and inch closer towards a semifinal berth.
England have a dependable opening pair of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter, who can give a solid foundation while there are batsmen like captain Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan to support Pietersen in the middle order.

Their bowling has been equally impressive so far in the tournament. Ryan Sidebottom makes the batsmen’s life miserable with his consummate line and length, while Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad have the ability of producing some timely breakthroughs in the middle overs. On the other hand, consistency is the main strength of the South African batting department, which includes star all-rounder Jacques Kallis and the experienced Herschelle Gibbs.

Captain Graeme Smith is coming up in the order, while the rest of line-up also has power-hitters like AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel and Mark Boucher who can pull the team out of the pit in case of any early slip-up. Their bowling line-up is also ready to give the English batsmen some tough time.

Meanwhile, perennial dark-horses New Zealand would be up against the unpredictable defending champions Pakistan in a must-win Super Eight Group E match on Saturday as the semifinal race heats up at the Twenty20 World Cup here.
Both the teams, coming off losses in their opening Super Eight matches, would be desperate to bring their campaign back on track. While New Zealand were handed their first defeat of the tournament by title favourites South Africa, Pakistan were upstaged by England.

Both the teams are grappling with identical problems. The batting line-ups of both the sides are brittle and rely too much on a few power-hitters, who cannot be expected to deliver in every game.
Here to defend their crown with a new-look team after some prominent names were banned for indiscipline, Pakistan have lived up to their reputation of being consistently inconsistent. Pakistan’s batting has not been too impressive barring Salman Butt and to some extent Umar Akmal.
PTI

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