South Africa win toss, elect to bat first against Pakistan


PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first in the first of five one-day internationals (ODI) at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
The tourists were mauled in the Test series, with none of the three matches going beyond lunch on the fourth day, but have reason to be optimistic in the 50-overs game where fast short-pitched bowling will likely not be a decisive factor.
For both teams, the series is an important step towards the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales later this year.
Pakistan will be banking on the return of experienced batsmen Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez as well as Fakhar Zaman who was the green shirts best batsman during the previous ODI series against New Zealand with 154 runs. Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir has been dropped from the playing XI for the first ODI.
Rassie van der Dussen and Duanne Olivier will be making their ODI debuts for the hosts. In the absence of Dale Steyn, who has been rested for first two games, Olivier will be expected to lead the attack from the front, who topped the charts with 24 wickets against Pakistan in the Test series.
Playing XI
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (captain), David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Heinrich Klaasen (wicketkeeper), Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Duanne Olivier and Imran Tahir
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain & wicketkeeper), Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Usman Shinwari


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