By Rex Clementine
The last two games of the Group 2 of the Super Eight stage of the ICC T-20 World Cup will be worked off on Sunday in Barbados and Antigua with South Africa, West Indies and England all in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
South Africa have been unbeaten in the competition so far and only need a win over the West Indies to go through. Even if they lose, if their Net Run Rate doesn’t suffer South Africa will be able to edge out England, but they wouldn’t want their fate to be at others hands.
South Africa have played so well all this tournament and it will be a crying shame if they crash out by smallest of margins. Bad luck at ICC events have accompanied South Africa throughout the years and they would want to leave nothing for chance.
West Indies have played some attractive cricket in this competition and a win against South Africa is sufficient for them to go through to last four. If they lose to South Africa, then they have to expect that United States beat England later in the day.
As for England, they would be buoyed by the fact that they take on the weakest team in the second round in their last game. A decent win over USA will be sufficient for them to go through as they don’t have to worry about the outcome of the South Africa – West Indies game later in the day.
USA, although they have created a few upsets and given some teams scares in the second round, they have been found wanting during pressure games. The experience playing big teams, however, would have stood them in good stead.
Of all teams, South Africa will feel the pressure most. There’s little room for error in this format and all what they would be hoping is for a win by even one run to progress.
Medium paceman Ottneil Baartman had a poor game against England and South Africa will be looking to bring in Gerald Coetzee, who generates extra pace for his place.
West Indies top order has been in good nick and they will be relying on them heavily. Their strategy of three spinners also worked in Barbados and it remains to be seen whether they will stick to the same format in the crunch game against the Proteas.
England are unlikely to change the side that lost their last game. The defending champions have blown hot and cold throughout the competition but will be looking to play their best game in Antigua.