South Africa look to break Pakistan stranglehold in second ODI at Durban

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South Africa have not had is easy against Pakistan of late.

The momentum will be with the visitors as South Africa get ready to take on Pakistan in the second ODI of the five-match series at Durban on Tuesday.

The visitors started the series in impressive fashion with a five-wicket win in Port Elizabeth and will be looking to bring that form to Kingsmead.

Ahead of the second ODI between the two sides, we take a look at the key talking points.

PAKISTAN IN BUOYANT FORM

While they were made to look like headless chickens at time in the Test series, Pakistan are looking like a completely different beast in the ODI format.

Sarfraz Ahmed and his men were excellent in the series opener with both bat and ball. Their bowlers were instrumental in not letting South Africa run away with the scoring despite taking only wickets with Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali impressive in particular.

In the batting department, opener Imam-ul-Haq dazzled with 86 while Babar Azam continued his stellar form with a 49. More importantly, veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez performed the finisher’s role to perfection with an unbeaten 71 to help Pakistan cross the finish line.

The No1 ranked T20 outfit look to have most of their bases covered and are establishing themselves as a formidable limited-overs outfit.

The visitors are flying after their Port Elizabeth win.

The visitors are flying after their Port Elizabeth win.

HOSTS LOOK TO SOLVE ODI PUZZLE

The shock retirement of star batsman AB de Villiers has left the Proteas looking shaky ahead of the World Cup in England. The void his retirement has left in the batting unit was greatly illustrated in the first ODI where South Africa could only muster 266 runs from their 50 overs despite losing only two wickets.

Hashim Amla brought up a 27th ton in the format but the opener’s slow rate of scoring was blamed for the hosts’ loss. There were a few positives to take for Faf du Plessis and his men with the performance of debutant Rassie van der Dussen being the biggest of them all.

Dussen showed his white-ball prowess with a fluent 93 but there are still many holes in South Africa’s ODI setup. The hosts have opted to rest Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn for the first two ODIs in order to try various combinations and they will be hoping to find a few answers come Tuesday.

The Proteas skipper is still searching for answers.

The Proteas skipper is still searching for answers.

PROTEAS AIM TO OVERCOME PAKISTAN’S RECENT RECORD

The five-wicket defeat in Port Elizabeth extended the poor run for the hosts against Pakistan in ODIs. That loss meant South Africa have now lost five out of their last six 50-over encounters against Pakistan with the losing run stretching back to Pakistan’s tour of the country in 2013-14.

Du Plessis was not too far from the truth when he termed Pakistan as a better ODI outfit prior to the start of the series. Despite their brilliance in the Test format, South Africa have failed to translate that success to one-day cricket with their 1-5 loss to India at home last year a testament to their struggles.

With time running out for the World Cup, the hosts will be desperate to bring a turnaround in fortunes in their ODI game but for that they will first have to break the stranglehold Pakistan currently have over them.

Pakistan's recent ODI record against the hosts is impressive.

Pakistan’s recent ODI record against the hosts is impressive.

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