The Proteas’ cruel luck with injuries continued as pace spearhead Dale Steyn has been ruled out of today’s Champions Trophy semifinal with groin muscle stiffness.
It is a huge setback for a team that has played the bulk of the tournament without its leading strike bowler. It will be good news for England, who have had their struggles with Steyn.
The Proteas have also been without Morné Morkel, who was ruled out of the tournament with a quad muscle strain after pulling up lame in the Cardiff tournament opener against India.
Steyn, who underwent light exercises yesterday, suffered a side strain in the warm-up game against Pakistan.
The injury kept him out of the Proteas’ two opening Champions Trophy matches against India and Pakistan, which they lost and won, respectively.
He took 2/33 in six overs of hostile fast bowling against the West Indies, where he showed no discomfort. He took the crucial wicket of Marlon Samuels, who was freewheeling the West Indies to a semifinal place.
Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee had said earlier when Steyn missed the India game that he would have been risked if it were a play-off match.
The fact that he hasn’t been risked for a key match such as today’s underlines the significance of the injury.
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