World Twenty20 – Group E, The Brit Oval 13.30
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West Indies blew a hole in the outright winner betting by beating pre-tournament favourites India at Lord’s last night. Today’s winners will take a huge step towards booking their place in the semi-finals.
South Africa have been methodical in their performances, the only question that remains really is when they get put under some pressure how do they cope. From what we have seen of them so far though, they look a strong outfit.
West Indies beat India with plenty to spare yesterday. They bowled and even fielded well and when it came to the run chase they paced themselves and showed remarkable composure. Fidel Edwards started well with 3 wickets for just 24 runs, he was well supported at the other end with tight economical bowling in particular from Gayle and Benn. Although Bravo was a bit expensive he picked up the other 4 wickets.
The most remarkable thing though was the change in the fielding, they dropped only one catch, Yuvraj Singh, when he was on 32. Lendl Simmons set the tone taking a superb running-back-and-diving catch to send Gambhir on his way and then – apart from the Yuvraj lapse – they never looked back.
South Africa crushed England on thursday evening. Bowling first they never let England get started, putting them under pressure with the new ball pairing of Dale Steyn and Wayne Parnell. The English did help with some strange tactics and shot selections but in the main South Africa controlled the game from ball 1 – it looked like men against boys.
South Africa were outstanding in the field, holding all the quarter or half chances that make the difference between winning and losing. In the batting department England didn’t give them many easy runs but they handled the pressure well and won with plenty to spare.
Can’t see either team changing their line ups after those performances. South Africa are the bookmakers favourites at 4/7 but if West Indies can keep the momentum from last night it could be very close and turn out to be a classic.
West Indies have won the toss and will bowl first.
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