It will be do or die time for South Africa and the West Indies when they square off in Bridgetown on Friday
It’s make or break for the West Indies as they prepare to take on South Africa in the final round-robin match of the Tri-Nation Series.
With Australia already guaranteed a place in the final, both the Islanders and the Proteas will be looking for a big win in order to lay down a marker! Who will come out on top in Bridgetown this Friday? Let’s find out!
West Indies vs South Africa | Friday 24 June | Bridgetown, Barbados | 18:30
To Win Match
West Indies 17/10 | Tie 35/1 | South Africa 9/20
The West Indies will probably feel like they were 15 – 20 runs short of a winning total on a very good batting deck in Barbados against Australia last time out. Despite reaching a solid total of 282-8 with Marlon Samuels claiming 125 and Denesh Ramdin getting 91, the Aussies never looked like falling short of the total, especially with Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell playing so well with bat in hand.
Their cause wasn’t helped by the injury to Jason Holder who could only bowl two overs before having to leave the field with a hamstring injury. This meant that part-time legspinner Andre Fletcher and Kieron Pollard had to make up the rest of his overs against a rampant Australian middle order.
Holder remains a doubt for the match against South Africa with Pollard set to lead the team in his absence.
They’ll need to put in a similar batting display against an immensely talented South African top and middle order if they are to stand any chance of winning this game. More will be required from the opening pair of Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher who simply weren’t good enough last time out. Darren Bravo also struggled with the bat while Ramdin simply doesn’t have the quality to be relied on to make big scores.
Looking ahead, I think that the West Indian slow bowlers are going to be key. If Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, and Sulieman Benn can put the pressure on the South Africans, it’ll allow Shannon Gabriel and Carlos Brathwaite a bit little bit more room for error. If the South Africans get at the spinners though, the West Indies could be facing a heavy defeat in this must-win match.
The Proteas head into this game as clear favourites, and for good reason. They are superior in every facet of the game and shouldn’t really have any problems defeating the West Indies who have failed to really shine during this series.
It’s no secret that South Africa’s strength lies in their explosive top order. With Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis all able to accelerate the run rate at will while Hashim Amla plays the part of the glue that holds everything together; often batting deep into innings once he gets settled. If any two of these three guys click on Friday night it could well be curtains for the West Indians.
It’s not only the top order that comes with the fire, JP Duminy, Chris Morris Wayne Parnell and Farhaan Behardien all capable of piling on the runs in later overs. If the top four can lay a decent platform for the middle and lower order, we could well see the South Africans – if they bat first – put on a massive total in front of a despairing Bridgetown faithful.
While we can harp on all day about the batting line-up, it’s worth mentioning that Russel Domingo has a fair few quality bowlers to call on too. Imran Tahir has already demonstrated his world-class ability by becoming the fastest South African to 100 ODI wickets after claiming a magnificent seven-for against the West Indies last week. Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel and Parnell form a dangerous three-pronged seam attack while left-arm Chinaman, Tabraiz Shamsi keeps batsmen on their toes.
Verdict: South Africa 9/20
As I mentioned earlier, the Proteas are just far too strong and will likely take advantage of the fact that Jason Holder is likely to miss out on this game. Back them to win easily at 9/20.
Value Bet: Faf du Plessis to top score for South Africa at 4/1
I know that I keep banging on about this bet, but there’s just far too much value to ignore here. The man is in scintillating form and is priced up at a massive 4/1 to top score for South Africa. A medium sized bet on Faf is the way to go here! Get on!
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.