ICC Champions Trophy 2017: South Africa vs Pakistan, 5 players to watch out for
South Africa are just a victory away from sealing a semi-final spot as they take on Pakistan at Edgbaston. Pakistan, meanwhile, are on the cusp of being eliminated after losing their opening game against India by a huge margin.
South Africa crushed Sri Lanka in their opening game courtesy Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir but know that they need to regroup with bat and ball against stronger opponents. Their batting collapse in the middle overs and lacklustre bowling with the new ball poses a few problems but they would be pleased with the intensity on the field.
Pakistan have numerous issues after the embarrassing loss to India. Their batting came a cropper against the Indian bowlers and will once again be the focus against the Proteas. What will work in their favour though are the overhead conditions and their pace bowling. If that clicks, Pakistan might just punch above their weight, though it seems unlikely at the moment.
Here are five players to watch out for from the clash at Birmingham.
#5 Wayne Parnell
The once unsteady and inconsistent Wayne Parnell has made rapid strides in limited-overs cricket since making a comeback to the side. He has shared the new ball with Rabada in 10 out of 13 games since coming back and has 18 wickets at an economy just under 6, a considerable improvement from his show prior to being dropped.
Swing is Parnell's biggest weapon but he is unlikely to find that in this tournament which means that his ability to bowl consistent channels will come under scrutiny. He struggled against Sri Lanka with the new ball but returned to concede just nine in his last five overs. That is the kind of spell South Africa need from him at the start.
Record against Pakistan
Matches - 5, Wickets - 8, BBI - 3/36, Avg - 26.12