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Pakistan eye first one-day series win in two years

08 November, 2010

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DUBAI: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi hopes to upstage South Africa in the fifth One-day International here on Monday, for their first ever limited over series win against their rivals and first since 2008.

Pakistan have twice come from behind to level the five-match series at 2-2, setting up an intriguing last match, and Afridi hopes his team show further improvement.

“I know we have never beaten South Africa in a bilateral one-day series, so that is very much the aim to achieve and the boys are determined to win this final match,” Afridi said.

Pakistan have also lost their last six one-day series since beating the West Indies 3-0 in Abu Dhabi two years ago.

They have lost to Sri Lanka (home and away) twice, and to Australia, New Zealand and England once each.

South Africa won the first match by eight wickets before Pakistan levelled the series with a narrow one-wicket win.

The third match was won by South Africa by two runs but Pakistan once again fought back and levelled the series with a one-wicket win in the fourth match.

“This series is a very close affair, so we need to take all our chances and if we do then we will win the series, which will be a very good achievement considering our recent record,” said Afridi.

South African coach Corrie van Zyl is optimistic about his team’s chances.

“We obviously want to win the series, but you also want to see which players are available before the World Cup because this is our last chance to play on sub-continent type of pitches here,” said Van Zyl.

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh jointly host the World Cup from February 19 to April 2 next year.

Van Zyl, who took over early this year after Mickey Arthur left, said he was worried about a fitness problem troubling lanky paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

“Injury to Lonwabo is a concern but Rusty (Theron) stepped in and did well,” he said. “We hope we are in a position to field our strongest combination and everyone bowls to his potential.”


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