Confident South Africa aim go unbeaten against a depleted West Indies team

South Africa players celebrate a wicket against Pakistan. © ICC

South Africa sealed their semifinal spot in the T20 World Cup by beating a spirited Pakistan by 17 runs, thereby qualifying for the first time since 2014. In all of their victories, there have been different players stepping up at crucial junctures of the game to just underline the fact that a full-strength South African team are indeed dangerous and potent. In their last league match against West Indies on Tuesday (March 3), South Africa will look to keep the winning streak going.

Barring Thailand, England and Pakistan ran them close but South Africa remained calm and composed. The promotion of Dane van Niekerk up the order has worked well and Laura Wolvaaardt with an unbeaten fifty flourished in her new role batting at number five. Marizanne Kapp’s health is only a bit a concern going around and with an inconsequential match coming up against West Indies, Kapp might well be rested to keep her fit.

The bowling too has looked potent with Shabnim Ismail bowling hostile and keeping it straight. She has picked up five wickets so far in the tournament and needs only one wicket to get to 100 T20I wickets. Dane van Niekerk and Sune Luus, too, have kept things tight with their leg spin and South Africa will look to continue their winning streak going against a depleted West Indies team.

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West Indies were dealt with a body blow when their skipper Stafanie Taylor retired hurt against England and is ruled out of their last clash. After Taylor’s departure, the wheels came off as West Indies could manage only 97. It is the batting that has let them down in all of their matches and that has cost them a semi-final spot. The move to bring in Deandra Dottin for such a crucial tournament without much match practice is in question as the allrounder has scored just 12 runs and hasn’t even contributed with the ball. Hayley Matthews, too, has not fired and that has had a great impact.

With nothing to lose West Indies will take on South Africa in Sydney in their last match with an aim to put on a better batting display. On the other hand, South Africa will look to go unbeaten and aim to finish the Group B on top. Their win will decide the final semi-final line-ups – if Proteas win, they’ll face Australia; a loss will pit them against India. 

Squads:

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon (vc), Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Trisha Chetty, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Nadine de Klerk, Nondumiso Shangase.

West Indies: Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Lee-Ann Kirby, Hayley Matthews, Anisa Mohammed (c), Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman.