South Africa have seen off a spirited fightback from Afghanistan to win by five wickets with 15 balls to spare in their final World…
Captain Aaron Finch is about to weigh up the risks of playing with a dodgy hamstring in Australia’s crunch T20 World Cup clash against Afghanistan.
Finch faces further fitness tests at Australia’s training on Thursday, the eve of a must-win encounter against the Afghans in Adelaide.
Allrounder Marcus Stoinis has been cleared of his hamstring scare and will play on Friday night in a match the hosts must win to have a hope of advancing to the semi-finals.
The prospects of Finch and middle-order blaster Tim David, who are both suffering hamstring ailments, are expected to become clearer on Thursday.
Finch and David did light running at training on Wednesday but didn’t bat.
Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey says Finch, in particular, will be watched closely by team medicos on Thursday.
“They will have a series of steps they will like to see, to make sure that he ticks off,” Bailey said.
“And then it’s how much risk you are willing to tolerate.”
Bailey said the cut-throat nature of the Afghanistan clash would be factored into the decision on whether Finch plays.
“At the fundamental level is Afghanistan are a very strong side and you need 11 fit and firing players to beat them,” Bailey said.
Australia sit in third spot in their group behind leaders New Zealand and England – the nations have five points each.
The Kiwis play Ireland in Adelaide on Friday afternoon before Australia’s game, while England meet Sri Lanka in the last game of the group on Saturday.
Should the three favoured nations win, net run-rate will decide the two countries progressing to the semi-finals.
But Bailey said focusing on maths rather than cricket was dangerous.
“The first port of call is making sure you set yourself up to win the game and make sure you’re playing well enough to do that … going in flexible and open-minded,” he said.
“We have got a team that has got the talent that if they need to put the foot down and do something special.”