South Africa and the West Indies meet in Dubai after both suffering first-round losses at the competition and fearing falling too far behind in the semi-final race.
Both teams will be hoping for gains on the batting side of the equation, which was hampered by opposing bowling in their first-match performances, as they try to catch up in their respective campaigns.
South Africa were restricted to 118/9 in their 20 overs against Australia, but their performance was aided by a confident fielding effort, as they took the match to the final over in a five-wicket defeat.
While Temba Bavuma’s side avoided a potentially crippling net run rate blow, Kieron Pollard’s West Indies were thrashed by England in just 8.2 overs in the chase after setting a modest target of 56. After appearing to recover from losing two early wickets, West Indies were driven out of the game after a collapse of 28/8, unable to respond to an English attack that was firing on all cylinders.
Pollard almost utilized the England innings to allow Akeal Hosein to build a rhythm at the bowling crease since there wasn’t enough on the board to defend. Hosein was a late addition to the squad when Fabian Allen’s injury ruled him out of the event. He quickly settled in, taking two great catches off his own bowling to finish with stats of 2/24. (4).
Hosein’s performance was the only bright spot in the West Indies’ effort, while the group seemed to be in good spirits, dismissing the outcome as an outlier. Looking back at the tournament’s history, the West Indies lost to Afghanistan at the end of the Super 10 phase in 2016, but bounced back with victories over India and England to win their second title.
However, in this forthcoming match, South Africa has the upper hand amongst the two opponents. The teams met in a five-match T20I series in Grenada earlier this year, with the tourists winning a nail-biting series 3-2. South Africa won all of their matches by batting first, thanks to a one-run victory in the third match.
The series was Bavuma’s first as captain, and he won his maiden test thanks to excellent bowling and Quinton de Kock’s batsman ship. De Kock’s 255 series runs (at 51.00, strike rate 141.66) were complimented by contributions from others around him, most notably Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen, who batted first in all four matches of the series.
The series was utilised by the West Indians to experiment with their batting line-up, yet doubts about their vulnerability to spin bowling remained largely unanswered as Tabraiz Shamsi wreaked havoc. Pollard’s men may need a different strategy against the wrist-spinner after claiming seven wickets at an economy rate of four in five outings.
Specifications of the fixture
- South Africa vs. the West Indies
- Time: 14:00, Friday, October 26th, 2021
- Dubai International Stadium is the venue.
Players who are important
Quinton de Kock
De Kock’s impact with the bat, as the linchpin of South Africa’s line-up, will likely dictate South Africa’s assault. De Kock averages 50.33 in six innings against the West Indies, with a strike rate in the 130s and three half-centuries. De Kock is an excellent match-up against spinners Akeal Hosein and Hayden Walsh Jr, and he is a proficient at negotiating rapid bowling in any format.
Andre Russell has had a bad history with South Africa, but the neutral setting and importance of the T20 World Cup could inspire the world-class all-rounder to make a difference in the match. Russell has been stymied by South Africa’s bowlers in death over scenarios, averaging 12.25 in nine innings and not out on only one occasion, although conceding 9.57 runs per over (up from a career T20I economy of 9.18).
Despite losing their respective tournament openers, neither team is likely to make significant changes. Despite the presence of Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo on the outskirts, South Africa’s bowling attack should remain identical. On the batting side, shuffles in the order appear to be more likely than XI alterations, though Reeza Hendricks could make the cut.
Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma (c), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwaine Pretorius, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dw
Roston Chase and Andre Fletcher may be considered for the West Indies, although despite the huge setback, Kieron Pollard is likely to field the same XI in the second match.
Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Hayden Walsh Jr, Obed McCoy, Ravi Rampaul are among the possible West Indies XI.
Captaincy selection – Evin Lewis – expert Dream11 Fantasy tips
After one disappointing knock, it’s not quite time to write off the West Indies opener. Going all guns blazing is part of the Caribbean style of play. Lewis is the most in-form player in the current squad, having scored 967 runs at an average of 35 in 30 T20s in 2021. Not to mention his 178 runs in five innings with a strike rate of 160.36 in their recent T20I series against South Africa at home.
Anrich Nortje is a must-have.
In the last couple of years, the right-arm pacer has been a steady performer for the Proteas across all formats. In today’s contest, his 17.7 bowling strike rate in 61 T20s makes him a must-have. Nortje has also been in excellent form recently, taking 12 wickets in eight matches in the second phase of the IPL 2021.
Situation with a ladder
Both teams are in desperate need of a win after giving their opponents an early lead in the race for a semi-final spot. In their final three matches, the loser will have a mountain to climb and will almost certainly need other outcomes to go their way.