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First Innings: South Africa
|0/1 (0.3)||*Thomas||O: 7.3||du Plessis*||0 (7)|
|2/18 (4.0)||Cottrell||RR:3.55||de Kock||17 (21)|
|c. Hope b. Cottrell||6.1|
|c. Gayle b. Cottrell||2.5|
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|First Innings: South Africa||2/29||RR: 3.55||O: 7.3|
Q. de Kock+
c. Gayle b. Cottrell
c. Hope b. Cottrell
F. du Plessis*
H.E. van der Dussen
(b 0, lb 0, w 1, nb 0)
An injury-plagued South Africa will be looking to finally secure their first victory of the 2019 World Cup at the fourth attempt when they travel to Southampton to take on the West Indies. Join The Roar for live scores and ball-by-ball coverage from 7:30pm (AEST).
With an extended nine-game group stage at cricket’s most prestigious tournament this time around, three straight losses to kick off the tournament isn’t terminal for the Proteas yet – but make no mistake, they’ve entered the last-chance saloon.
Their form, though, gives little hope that they’ll be able to mount an inspired fightback to reach the final four – while losses to England and India were largely expected, an upset defeat to Bangladesh will be a bitter pill to swallow.
In all three games, their bowling has let them down, letting both England and Bangladesh rack up scores in excess of 300 before barely giving a yelp defending 230 against India – and with young quick Lungi Ngidi suffering a hamstring strain and champion Dale Steyn ruled out for the tournament with a shoulder injury, their stocks in that regard have never been thinner.
The West Indies are a neutral fan’s dream at this World Cup – a once-great cricketing nation seemingly on the cusp of a revival after decades in the wilderness, with a bevy of swashbuckling batsmen and lethal fast bowlers that make every match a wild ride.
All those facets have been on display in both their matches so far, and while a short-ball barrage proved too much for Pakistan, the chinks in their armour were laid bare in their loss to Australia.
Get through the quicks’ early onslaught, and their spinner, Ashley Nurse, can be targeted. And remove Chris Gayle early, and the Windies’ batting doesn’t exactly strike fear in the heart. For the Proteas to keep their World Cup dream alive, they must do all this and more.
Who would have thought this time two weeks ago that South Africa would be in such a dire position this early in the tournament? But their bowling continues to be a weakness, and unless their power-packed batting line-up can produce something exceptional, the Windies have the firepower to cash in.
West Indies by 5 wickets/35 runs.
Can the Proteas kick-start a comeback for the ages with a much-needed win? Or will it be the Calypso Kings to bounce the 2015 semi-finalists out of the tournament?
Tune into The Roar’s live coverage of this crucial World Cup match from 7:30pm (AEST), and remember to join the conversation in the comments section below.
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton
First ball: 7.30pm (AEST)
TV: Fox Cricket (501, live)
Streaming: Kayo Sports
Betting: South Africa $1.80, West Indies $2
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Sheldon Cottrell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.