• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

CRICKET

T20 WC: South Africa face USA, WI clash with England in Super Eight

Co-host USA, comprising a diverse mix of players from cricketing nations, has made a remarkable debut by reaching the Super Eight.

England, after a tense group stage where they needed help from arch-rivals Australia to stay in the competition, will look to start afresh. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

South Africa will take on the USA in their opening Super Eight match of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday, while hosts West Indies face defending champions England in another crucial encounter.

South Africa has remained unbeaten so far, with their bowlers playing a crucial role.

However, their batting lineup, despite featuring big hitters like Quinton de Kock, Henriech Klassen, Tristan Stubbs, and David Miller, has struggled to impress, failing to cross the 120-run mark in challenging conditions.

The top order, including captain Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, and Reeza Hendricks, faces pressure to deliver.

Pre-tournament concerns about Anrich Nortje’s form have been allayed as he now stands as the joint second leading wicket-taker with nine scalps.

Nortje, along with Ottniel Baartman, has formed a strong bowling pair, while Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada will aim to challenge the USA batters.

Co-host USA, comprising a diverse mix of players from cricketing nations, has made a remarkable debut by reaching the Super Eight.

Known for their aggressive style, they are keen on causing more upsets, having already defeated former champions Pakistan in the league stage.

However, they are closely monitoring the fitness of skipper Monank Patel, who missed the match against India and was doubtful against Ireland due to a niggle.

USA vice-captain Aaron Jones expressed confidence, stating, “Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve shown that we can compete and beat some of the full member nations.”

Teams (from):

South Africa: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.

USA: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Andries Gous, Corey Anderson, Ali Khan, Harmeet Singh, Jessy Singh, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nitish Kumar, Noshtush Kenjige, Saurabh Nethralvakar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Steven Taylor, Shayan Jahangir. Reserve Players: Gajanand Singh, Juanoy Drysdale, Yasir Mohammad.

Meanwhile, West Indies, riding on an eight-match winning streak, aim to continue their form against England.

The hosts recently secured a significant 104-run victory against Afghanistan and seek a similar performance.

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell stressed the importance of maintaining their good form against England, who are also competing for a third T20 World Cup title.

Powell said, “As much as they are playing good cricket, we’re playing good cricket – so come Wednesday night it should be a very good game.”

West Indies will rely on their consistent batters like Shane Rutherford and Nicholas Pooran and their effective bowlers, including the spin duo Akeal Hosein and Gudakesh Moti.

The conditions in the West Indies favour high-scoring games but also offer opportunities for bowlers with extra bounce.

England, after a tense group stage where they needed help from arch-rivals Australia to stay in the competition, will look to start afresh.

While the pitch favours batters, the extra bounce still offers incentive for the quicks and left-arm medium pacer Obed McCoy’s role will also become important.

England pacers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood would also be keen to make most of the conditions. The two teams have clashed rather regularly in the past and are well aware of each other’s strength and weaknesses.

England skipper Jos Buttler and his team are focused on leveraging their knowledge of West Indies’ play style to gain an advantage.

Teams (from):

West Indies: Rovman Powell (c), Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Roston Chase, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Obed McCoy, Shamar Joseph, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope.

England: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

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