ICC Champions Trophy: SA vs WI is going to be a virtual quarter-final

With the semi-final slot up for grabs,SA and the WI would be locked in a virtual quarterfinal

Written by Express News Service | Cardiff | Published: June 14, 2013 1:53:21 am

With the semifinal slot up for grabs,South Africa and the West Indies would be locked in what is a virtual quarterfinal when they take on each other in their last Group B match.

India are already through to the semifinals after two wins out of two,while Pakistan are out of contention. That leaves the Proteas and the West Indies locked in a battle for the second semifinal spot. South Africa have got a shot in the arm ahead of the crucial match with pacer Dale Steyn returning to fitness. He bowled in the nets without any discomfort .

“Dale is progressing quite well. He came through his net session today without any discomfort,” Mohammed Moosajee,South Africa’s team manager,said. “We will see if he wakes up with any stiffness. If he comes through tomorrow’s practice then he should be available.”

Insofar as their batting goes,both teams seem evenly matched even though the Chris Gayle factor could tilt the scales in the West Indies’ favour if the swashbuckler comes up with one of his hurricane knocks. For South Africa,Hashim Amla’s form remains crucial. The likes of A B de Villiers,Faf du Plessis and J P Duminy can accelerate on a solid start.

The West Indian batting also features quite a few aggressors apart from Gayle. Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo are two other big-hitters who would be expected to come good. On the bowling front,South Africa have the distinct edge,especially if Steyn returns to the squad. For the West Indies,spinner Sunil Narine remains a crucial cog and he proved his worth yet again when he picked up a couple of wickets against India.

South Africans,on the other hand,have a strong bowling line-up,which stifled Pakistan in their previous game. Medium-pacer Ryan McLaren was especially destructive with a four-wicket haul.

Live on Star Cricket: 3 pm

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