Hafeez and company target top T20I ranking

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A series victory over South Africa will afford Pakistan first position in the International Cricket Council's T20I rankings this week.

A series victory over South Africa will afford Pakistan first position in the International Cricket Council's T20I rankings this week.

Outgunned four-nil in the ODI series against the same opposition, the hosts are eager to achieve revenge in the shortest format of the international game.

"We are disappointed at the ODI series loss but we have to put that behind us, it's a new format and some new players have boosted our strength so we will definitely get better results," said captain Mohammad Hafeez.

"Of course it will be a big thing if we attain the number one ranking but for us it is more important to win Wednesday's game and then think for the second.

The Pakistanis have been placed with arch rivals India, defending champions West Indies and Australia in Group 2 for next year's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

"This series is also important for the fact that we have the World Twenty20 in four months, so we have discussed it and want to have the same group of players so that we have a settled squad for the mega event," added Hafeez.

Pakistan and South Africa have met in T20I cricket on eight previous occasions, with the former triumphant four times and the latter thrice – and one washout.

Wednesday and Friday's Twenty20 Internationals will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. All-rounders Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik, meanwhile, have been recalled.

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