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Smith's absence troubles South Africa

A depleted South Africa face a hard task if they are to pull off a series winner in the fifth and final day-night limited overs match against Pakistan.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2003 01:13 IST

A depleted South Africa face a hard task if they are to pull off a series winner in the fifth and final day-night limited overs match against Pakistan here on Sunday.

International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Clive Lloyd has barred South African captain Graeme Smith and all-rounder Andrew Hall from the fifth one-dayer for discipline breaches in the second one-day in Lahore last Sunday.

Hall is also banned for two test matches.

Their penalties relate to charges brought by ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed based on video evidence of an incident when Pakistan were batting during the second match of the ongoing five-match series.

Hall apparently elbowed Youhana on his follow through. Both were engaged in a verbal argument and is charged with bringing the game into disrepute. Hall was further charged with inappropriate and deliberate contact.

Smith was charged for using abusive language during the incident.

Vice captain Mark Boucher will lead the side in Smiths absence.

"It is extremely disappointing to lose Smith and Hall for the important match on Sunday but we are appealing the Test ban on Hall," said South Africa media spokesman Gerald de Kock.

Pakistan won the first two matches -- by eight and 42 runs respectively while the tourists in a strong comeback recorded a 13-run and six wickets wins in the last two games.

"It was a fantastic win for us, every thing worked for us. The boys fielded well, nice and clinical in batting considering we played the last two games under pressure and again one game on Sunday which we make sure that we come on top and make it 3-0 in a row," said Smith in post-match comments Friday.

"I think that in the first week we played well up until a point in each game since we had not acclimatised fully to conditions, cricket wise and heat wise and so after a week I think we are now more at home.

Smith shrugged aside accusations that his side falters in crunch matches.

"I think if we were chokers, been 2-0 down coming back and would not have made it 2-2, and now again its a cricket game and we got to come out and play the kind of cricket we played in the last two games.

"It would be third time when we have no tomorrow for us," said Smith.

Pakistan is boosted by the return of their captain Inzamam-ul Haq, who missed the last two games due to hamstring problem, and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who had to sit out due to stomach ailment.

"It was desperate to sit out and see my side losing both the games but I am definitely playing on Sunday and hope it helps my side get the final win," said Inzamam.

He said injuries halted his sides progress in the series and insisted South Africa would still present a formidable side despite absences.

"South Africa is a very balanced side so I dont think Smiths absence would make much difference," said Inzamam.

Pakistan have also included left handed opener Imran Farhat in their squad which hints out of form all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez may get an axe in the final match.

Teams (from):

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

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

Umpires: Darrell Hair (AUS) and Aleem Dar (PAK)

TV umpire: Asad Rauf (PAK)

Match referee: Clive Lloyd (WIs).

First Published: Oct 11, 2003 20:05 IST