Pakistan vs South Africa 1st T20 Predictions & Tips - Azam can lead Pakistan to comfortable victory
- Pakistan vs South Africa predictions for Thursday’s T20 cricket match
- The match will be played in Lahore at 11:00 GMT
- I am backing Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to dominate South Africa
- Stats, team news, predictions & preview
Mohammad Rizwan smashed 89 runs in his last T20 match (Getty Images)
Pakistan vs South Africa Predictions
South Africa have been in horrid T20 form and come into this series with at least nine first choice players missing. Pakistan should be far too strong for their visitors so the value is in the run scoring markets. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are backed to score big.
- Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan scored 89 runs in his last T20 match.
- Pakistan’s Babar Azam averaged 50.93 runs per innings in T20 cricket.
- Pakistan have won 5 of their last 7 T20 matches.
- South Africa’s David Miller scored 57 runs in his last limited overs innings.
- South Africa have lost 5 of their last 7 T20 matches.
Head to Head
South Africa lead Pakistan 8-6 in their 14 previous T20 matches. Never before have they met in a T20 fixture in Pakistan.
Their last meeting took place at Centurion in February 2019. Pakistan won that match by 27 runs.
Pakistan have won five of their last seven T20 matches with the last being against New Zealand in December 2020.
That match took place in Napier where New Zealand batted first and scored 173 runs. Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-20 in his four overs.
Mohammad Rizwan opened the batting for Pakistan and scored a superb 89 runs off 59 balls. There was a contribution of 41 runs by Mohammad Hafeez.
Pakistan chased down the 173 runs with two balls to spare to win by four wickets. At full strength, Pakistan are still considered among the top T20 teams in the world and in home conditions they should prove a tough prospect.
Pakistan Injuries & Team News
Babar Azam will return to the side after missing the New Zealand series through injury. He should come in for Khushdil Shah in the middle order.
Top run scorer against New Zealand, Mohammad Hafeez has been left out of the Pakistan squad. This is reportedly due to a disagreement over quarantine arrangements.
Other players dropped include Fakhar Zaman and Wahab Riaz while Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim were unavailable for selection.
South Africa Form
South Africa only played nine T20 matches in 2020, seven of which ended in defeat. They lost their last series 3-0 to England on home soil.
The last match saw South Africa bat first and score a very good 191 runs at Newlands. Faf du Plessis scored 52 runs and Rassie van der Dussen 74.
England’s response was however emphatic, chasing down the total with more than two overs to spare and for the loss of only one wicket. George Linde was the pick of the bowlers, going for only 26 runs in his four overs.
South Africa Injuries & Team News
South Africa come into this series with a vastly different squad as most first choice players have returned home.
The visitors will be heavily reliant on players like David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, Andile Phehlukwayo and captain, Heinrich Klaasen who have plenty international experience.
We could see deubuts for the likes of Nandre Burger, Okuhle Cele, Ryan Rickelton, Jacques Snyman and Glenton Stuurman.
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Babar Azam is one of the top T20 batsmen in the world and backed to top score for Pakistan. The best bet is for Mohammad Rizwan to score over 22.5 runs.
South Africa's young squad have little form to fall back on, but I'm tipping the experienced David Miller to top score.
Best Bet: Rizwan Over 22.5 Runs Over/Under Runs @-120.48 at BetMGM - 3 Units
Best Pakistan Batsman Tip: Babar Azam Best Pakistan Batsman @187.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 2 Units
Best South Africa Batsman Tip: David Miller Best South Africa Batsman @450.00 at Borgata Sports - 1 Unit