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29-Oct-2013 11:02:00 GMT
Pakistan v South Africa, 1st ODI, Sharjah

South Africa Trying to Maintain Momentum

Sharjah: South African captain AB de Villiers vowed to attack Pakistan for a winning start at the opening one-day match in Sharjah on Wednesday despite his team being down two key playmakers.

The Proteas are missing both star -- batsman Hashim Amla and spearhead Dale Steyn for the first two matches of the five match one-day series.

But De Villiers insists his team are brimming with confidence, especially after they managed to square the test series 1-1, winning the second showdown in Dubai by an innings and 92 runs.

Amla returned home after the first Test match to be with his wife following the birth of their second child. The 30-year old is ranked world number one in Test rankings.

South Africa will be joined by one-day specialists Quinton de Kock, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

De Villiers said he hoped to find the right combination for an early lead in the series.

"We are tactically working on getting the right side which could give us the best opportunity to get a 1-0 lead. I am looking forward to see the guys performing well in the greens," said De Villiers whose team lost their last one-day series in Sri Lanka 4-1 in July this year.

They were routed by Sri Lankan spinners Ajantha Mendis (ten wickets) and Rangana Herath (six wickets).

But despite their dismal showing against Sri Lanka, De Villiers insisted his team will be able to tackle Pakistan's spinners, especially Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan can reportedly move ahead if South Africa on the ICC ODI Team Rankings if they win the upcoming five-game series against South Africa, beginning in Sharjah on Wednesday, by 3-2 or better.

Pakistan, which is currently sitting in sixth position and four ratings points behind South Africa, can swap place with the African side and move into fifth position on 103 ratings points if they win the ODI series 3-2.

South Africa will move to 107 ratings points if they win the series 4-1 and will narrow the gap with England and Sri Lanka to just four ratings points, adding that the gap will be trimmed to just one rating point if South Africa sweep the series against Pakistan.

The ODI series against Pakistan offers South African vice-captain AB de Villiers an opportunity to overtake Hashim Amla at the top of the ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen, thereby regaining the number-one rank, the report added.

Teams from

South Africa AB de Villiers (Capt. & wk), Quinton de Kock (wk), Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith and Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pakistan Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt.), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal (wk), Umar Amin and Wahab Riaz

Match facts
Wednesday October 30, 2013 (day/night)
Start time 1500 local (1100 GMT)

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