Monday, June 17, 2019 | ePaper

Precariously placed South Africa face uphill West Indies challenge

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After a chastening first week and a half at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, South Africa will be eyeing their first win as they take on West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl, Southampton on Monday.
Dale Steyn ruled out due to injury, Lungi Ngidi unfit, an uncertain batting line-up and three losses on the trot- South Africa have had a tough start to their 2019 World Cup campaign. The fast bowlers' performance in the 6-wicket loss to India must be heartening for the team management, but it's the batsmen who need to step-up against an aggressive West Indies pace attack on Monday.
With Ngidi still in doubt, Du Plessis might look to draft in Beuran Hendricks, who came in as a replacement for Steyn, to add some teeth and variety to the bowling attack. The Proteas desperately need a win to stay in contention for a spot in the semi-finals.
The West Indies will look to rise up after their narrow defeat to Australia at Trent Bridge, a game they would have felt was under their control for most part of the day. While the aggressive opening burst from the fast bowlers in the first two matches reminded us of their glory days of old, failure to consolidate on the start and poor shot selection by the batsmen in the run-chase, hurt them dearly against Australia.
However, having won their opening fixture and having pushed Australia close, they will be the happier of the two teams heading into this match.
Key players
Quinton de Kock (South Africa): Runs early on in the innings has been sadly lacking for South Africa so far this tournament, with the highest opening stand for the Proteas at this World Cup being just 49. The wicket-keeper batsman, currently ranked fourth in the in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings, will aim for a match-winning performance against a potent West Indies attack.
Andre Russell (West Indies): Quick runs down the order and wicket-taking abilities with the ball - Russell is an integral part of this West Indies team. While he has been a big part of their success with the ball so far, the all-rounder, with his ball striking abilities, is capable of producing match-winning performances against any opposition on his day.
Conditions:
With even chances of rain, a few showers might be expected in the afternoon at The Hampshire Bowl. With cloud cover expected to remain for most part of the day, fast bowlers might once again play a decisive role on Monday.
Squads:
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.

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