Desperate teams face off in crucial match
The Champions Trophy will only be five days old on Monday but already it's crunch time. Defeat at Edgbaston will leave either South Africa or Pakistan on the brink of exit. Neither team is ready for that reality yet, so expect a tooth-and-nail affair between two desperate units.
The numbers are in South Africa's favour. They beat Pakistan 3-2 in a series in March and, even though they lost the warm-up match last Monday, they are in better shape after their opening match against India. South Africa ensured their net run-rate remained high when they ran India close and they showed they could bat deep.
Pakistan did the opposite. They were woeful against a West Indies attack that challenged with pace and spin, and only Nasir Jamshed and Misbah-ul-Haq showed any fight. However, even though they only scored 170, their bowlers kept them in the game until the last 10 overs, showing they could defend as long as there was a reasonable total.
The battle lines have been drawn between South Africa's batting and Pakistan's bowling and has been evened out by South Africa's pace pack being depleted. Although neutrals would want to see Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in action, without them the contest should level. That promises a match of spit and sizzle, rather than just steam.
ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - 5th Match, Group B: Pakistan v South Africa, 10 June
- South Africa (62% Votes)
- Pakistan (38% Votes)