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SA face last chance to avert series defeat

Graeme Smith vowed on Monday to prevent Pakistan running away with the one-day cricket series ahead of their third match in Faisalabad.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2003 18:02 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

South African skipper Graeme Smith vowed on Monday to prevent Pakistan running away with the one-day cricket series ahead of their third match in the eastern industrial city Faisalabad.

Pakistan lead the series 2-0 after a thrilling eight-run win in the first match Friday and an emphatic 42-run win Sunday, both in Lahore.

"We are going to play real good cricket from now on," Smith said, naming early run-outs for his team's downfall in the opening games of the five-match series.

"We shot ourselves in the foot with three stupid runouts and we were out of the game within 20 minutes. We played some good cricket and bad cricket so we need consistency."

The Proteas are the first high-profile team to play in Pakistan since New Zealand fled mid-series in the wake of a suicide car bomb attack outside their Karachi hotel which killed 11 French nationals and three Pakistanis in May 2002.

Chasing a target of 278 in the first match, South Africa were outlasted by the home team with pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar taking four wickets.

Shoaib's partner Mohammad Sami helped demolish the visitors with figures of 3-20. Three run-outs put paid to South African efforts in the second match on Sunday.

"Sami and Shoaib are very good one-day bowlers and in both games we were solidly placed but we panicked to lose the games," Smith said.

Smith and batsman Neil McKenzie had cramps in the first game but the South African captain refused to agree that heat was a factor in his side's defeats.

"It has nothing to do with hot conditions although we played in winter against England recently but conditions are different and the crowd was right behind the Pakistan team," he said.

The Proteas badly missed experienced opener Herschelle Gibbs who was kept out of both matches because of muscle problems. Although he remains in the squad, Morne van Wyk has been flown in as a potential back-up.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq, a doubtful starter for the match after pulling a hamstring in his right leg, said he was wary of South Africa staging a comeback.

"The South Africans are world class side and such a team can stage a comeback, so we need to keep guarding that as well," said Haq, who has won all nine one-dayers in which he has led Pakistan.

Inzamam played down a verbal clash involving South African allrounder Andrew Hall and Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana and said his side had not lodged a complaint.

Hall appeared to elbow Youhana as he was completing a run.

"We just want to play the series so we decided not to lodge any complaint and it was a team decision," Haq said.

Youhana will lead the side if Haq is unable to play. Pakistan has included batsman Naved Latif as cover for Haq while leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has also been brought into the 16-man squad.

Injured spinner Mushtaq Ahmed and opener Salman Butt were left out.

Teams (from):

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Yousuf Youhana, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Rashid Latif, Saqlain Mushtaq, Danish Kaneria, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Umer Gul, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock, Neil McKenzie, Jacques Rudolph, Robin Peterson, Andrew Hall, Alan Dawson, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt, Andre Nel, Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Morne van Wyk

Umpires: Darrell Hair (AUS) and Nadeem Ghauri (PAK)

TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)

Match referee: Clive LIoyd (WIs)

First Published: Oct 06, 2003 16:37 IST