Khanyiso Tshwaku in Cardiff
The Proteas’ current assistant coach and future head coach, Russell Domingo, said their final Group B clash against the West Indies tomorrow is a virtual quarterfinal.
The latest Group B match went the Proteas’ way, with India crushing the West Indies by eight wickets at The Oval on Tuesday.
Now the Proteas’ fate is in their own hands. Getting past the Windies, though, will not be an easy task and Domingo is aware of that.
“Before Tuesday’s result, whether we had won or not on Friday could have been irrelevant because of the net run-rate, but knowing that all we need to do is to beat the West Indies is a massive bonus,” Domingo said.
“We know it is going to be tough but the boys know that our fate is in our hands and that is a good thing.”
One thing South Africa got right were their tactics against Pakistan on Monday, where they had to fight back from a compromising position. The two-spinner trick against Pakistan was brave considering how adept the subcontinental side is at dealing with spin.
But it’s a different ball game with the West Indies, who were tied in knots by the harmless Ravindra Jadeja, who took 5/36 as the islanders faltered from 103/1 in the 20th over to 234 after 50.
India’s reply to the total showed how feeble the Windies’ effort was on what has been the best batting surface of the tournament thus far.
Cardiff and Birmingham have been on the slow side and the closeness of the results have shown as much. Conditions aside, Domingo said they will just have to play at their best and limit their unforced error count. South Africa’s record in ICC tournaments against the West Indies in not flattering but in bilateral series, it has been one-way traffic.
“They have 11 game-breakers. You just look at Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine. Those are players who have done well in the shorter formats of the game. We are going to have our hands full,” said Domingo.
“I can’t comment on what happened the last time the teams met in the Champions Trophy but we have a good record against them and we can take confidence from that. They know South Africa is a generally well-disciplined side and on our day we can beat anybody.”
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