Pakistan will try to seal their first one-day international series victory over South Africa at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Pakistan won the first of the three-match ODI series in Cape Town on Monday – their first ever victory at Newlands – and a win at St George’s would clinch overall victory.
The tour of South Africa has so far been an unexpected success for Pakistan. After being outplayed by the Proteas in the UAE, they earned a 1-1 draw in the T20 matches and now lead in the ODIs.
They are likely to name an unchanged team on Wednesday, with high hopes that the heroes of the 23-run win in Cape Town – debutants Bilawal Bhatti and Azhar Ali – can reproduce their performances with bat and ball.
The lower order pair put on 74 to give Pakistan something to bowl at, then took five wickets between them to foil the South Africa run chase.
South Africa skipper AB de Villiers said: “Bhatti is definitely skilful, there’s no doubt about it. Even myself, I underestimated him a bit in the second T20 game. He bowled like 12 perfect yorkers in a row. You’ve got to have skill to do that.”
South Africa have questions to answer, particularly the batsmen. Hashim Amla has not scored a half-century in his last eight innings against Pakistan. David Miller is without one in nine innings.
They could make “one or two changes,” according to de Villiers with Ryan McLaren probably coming in for Miller, offering another bowling option. And Lonwabo Tsotsobe is fit and well again and could return with either Morne Morkel or – if he needs a rest – Dale Steyn dropping out.
The dropping of McLaren – man of the series in the UAE – at Newlands caused raised eyebrows in South Africa. But de Villiers said: “I don’t think there was anything wrong with the team selection in the previous game, really. It was definitely a good enough team to beat Pakistan.
“It will mean everything to us to win. But the pressure’s definitely on us.”
The match will be South Africa’s 500th ODI international, and it is being played on the ground where they played their first ever Test.
The third ODI will be played at Centurion on Saturday.
Watch the second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan on Sky Sports 1, with coverage from 11am.