The Clash of the Titans – South Africa Vs Pakistan

18 Jun 2009 by Jack in ICC Men's T20 World Cup

shahid-afridiSouth Africa has finally got rid of their reputation as chokers. They now face Pakistan in an intriguing semifinal encounter of the Men’s T20 World Cup. Pakistan did not start the campaign on a good note as they went down to England in their first match of the tournament. Since then Pakistan has not looked back. They have shown their class and regained the form that has brought them this far in the tournament. The Proteas on the other hand has not lost a single match in the tournament and got the better of teams like New Zealand, India, England, and West Indies during their journey to the semifinals. Therefore, it will not be fair to take a call as to, which team holds the upper hand in this semifinal encounter.

Pakistan may have lost to Sri Lanka in their first Super 8 match, but it is important to understand that the Lankan lion’s are playing the best cricket of their life since the 1996 world cup. Pakistan did give them a good fight in that match but could not manage to reach the final total. However, Pakistan now looks like a team on a mission to regain their lost title. Players like Afridi, Mallik, Ajmal, Gul, and Razaq have put in superlative performances whenever the team required their services. Under the captaincy of a very relaxed Younis Khan, the Pakistani team looks very dangerous and hungry to regain the title.

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South Africa has played Pakistan just once in the T20 format of the game. A great innings from their skipper Graeme Smith ensured that they got the better of Pakistan that time. However, past performances will not matter as the location is new, the match is an all-important semifinal clash, and both teams are looking forward to win the title for the first time. Therefore, things are completely different as compared to their last encounter.

The Proteas are unperturbed by the chokers tag, which had cost them dearly in the past. In 2009, they want to prove to cricket audiences worldwide that things have drastically changed in their approach to the game. With five consecutive victories in the tournament and players like Kallis, Smith, Botha, De Villiers, Gibbs, Parnell, Morkel, and Steyn showing good form, the South Africans are the hot favorites to win the tournament this time round. Only one thing is certain from this match and that is high intensity and non-stop entertainment as the two titans of cricket clash to regain their lost glory.

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