By Rex Clementine

South Africa’s unblemished campaign in this World Cup will be tested when they take on defending champions England in St. Lucia on Friday.

The Proteas cruised through their opening round games and then a hard fought win over United States in their first Super Eight game has left them with just one more win required to enter the semi-finals. A win on Friday will take them through. Even if they lose to England, they’ve got the game against West Indies to make amends and enter the last four but they wouldn’t want to wait for that long.

England were really tested in their opening round but they have gained momentum with a win over hosts West Indies in the Super Eight stage.

They have got all bases covered with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood providing extra pace while Reece Topley and Sam Curran have contained opponents with their seam bowling. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have helped pull things back when pace has gone for runs.

England will be buoyed by the fact that Philp Salt has been in good touch while Jos Buttler and Johnny Bairstow have clicked well too.

Although South Africa have won all their games, there are chinks in their armour with more than one concern. While Anrich Nortje and  Kagiso Rabada have won them games with some mean spells, their spin has been rather susceptible.

Chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi won them the game against Nepal with a four wicket haul playing his first game in the competition in place of Keshav Maharaj. South Africa backed the two spinners for the second round game against USA leaving out dependable seamer Ottneil Baartman, but that backfired.

Maybe it won’t be a bad idea to play one spin against England and bring back Baartman.

Their top order needs to be consistent as well as it has been their middle order that has often bailed them out. Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Tristan Stubbs have been all reliable but more steady performances will be expected from the top order.