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Rediff.com  » Cricket » T20 WC: Big-hitting Windies face South Africa in must-win clash

T20 WC: Big-hitting Windies face South Africa in must-win clash

Source: PTI
June 23, 2024 14:01 IST
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IMAGE: For West Indies, a win against South Africa will see them through to the semi-finals, while a loss could make them dependent on other results and the net run rate. Photograph: Windies Cricket/X

Hosts West Indies will need their all-round firepower against a rampaging South Africa in their must-win final Super Eight clash to seal the semi-final berth at the T20 World Cup in North Sound.

 

After their only loss in six games to England in their opening Super 8 game, West Indies regrouped to smash co-hosts USA by nine wickets.

For West Indies, a win will see them through to the last-four, while a loss will bring it down to the net run-rate and that too only if USA beat England in the other group match.

South Africa, who have won all their six games so far, are sitting at the top of the table but they too are not yet guaranteed a spot in the semi-final and will need a win to seal the position.

A loss will again leave their fate on the other result and the net run rate (NRR).

However, both teams will have the advantage of knowing the exact scenario before they head into the match.

West Indies had failed to rotate strike against England but they quickly addressed the issue, producing a dominant show against USA led by Shai Hope's belligerent 39-ball 82.

While Hope will be expected to produce the firework in the powerplay, the Windies also possess some big power-hitters such as Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell to provide the charge in the death as well.

They also have Kyle Mayers waiting in the wings and it needs to be seen if WI is tempted to open with him, given his stint in SA20 and his mountain of runs in the pre-World Cup series against South Africa last month.

"I think most of the times when we control the power play, whether batting or bowling, that's when we come out on top," Roston Chase said in the pre-match press conference.

"I think that's the main focus, because we know in the end we have the power at the end. So, it's just for us to control that power play with the batting and our bowling..."

IMAGE: Quinton de Kock has been in good form with the bat for South Africa with successive fifties in the last two games. Photograph: Proteas Men/X

South Africa, on the other hand, haven't looked dominant so far despite an all-win record. It has always been tight wins even against minnows like the US and Nepal.

The positive thing is that Aiden Markram's team has always found a way to come out trumps.

"If you look at previous World Cups, the small moments we haven't really won. And it's good to see that I think all the games have come really close and we found a way, so it's building the character within the team," Keshav Maharaj said.

"And I think it prepares us for obviously certain opportunities that we could get and crossing over the line in those small moments are things that we've never done before. So, it's good to see us getting into that."

For South Africa, Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks have done the heavy lifting, while Anrich Nortje and Keshav Maharaj have been their standout bowler.

De Kock's big-hitting in the powerplay made the difference in their last match against England and WI has to find a way to stop him.

West Indies has some quality spinners in Akeal Hosein, Gudakesh Motie and Chase and a lot will depend on them as how they contain the middle-order, led by David Miller.

West Indies will also take inspiration from their 3-0 sweep of South Africa ahead of the tournament although it came against a second-string side. South Africa, on the other hand, have an overwhelming 3-1 record against the West Indies in T20 World Cups.

Squads:

West Indies: Rovman Powell (captain), Kyle Mayers, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Roston Chase, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Obed McCoy, Shamar Joseph, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope.

South Africa: Aiden Markram (captain), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.

Match: Starts on June 24, Monday, 6am IST.

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