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T20 World Cup: England hurdle awaits South Africa in race for semis


South Africa will look to enter the T20 World Cup semifinals by defeating in-form England here on Saturday.

With a net run rate of +3.183, England is more or less through to the semifinals with four wins from as many games, while South Africa lies third with six points from four matches. South Africa and Australia are in a close race for the second semifinal spot from Group 1 but the Australians are ahead in the points table on the basis of a better net run-rate. South Africa will need to win by a big margin against England to go over Australia on net run-rate or hope West Indies beats Australia by a margin that reduces Australiaโ€™s net run-rate.

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South Africa will get a clearer idea of what it needs to do to qualify as Australia plays West Indies in the first match of the day.

With form on its side, an ominous-looking England will start as firm favourite, however. While all their matches havenโ€™t been one-sided, the Englishmen were clinical in their approach in the four games they have played so far.

In-form batters

Englandโ€™s batting revolves around Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and skipper Eoin Morgan, all of whom have been among the runs. Buttler achieved two personal milestones in the last match when he scored his maiden T20 century (101 not out of 67 balls).

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The big-hitter would be high on confidence and looking for an encore.

In this episode of Matchpoint Paradox, Ayan Acharya and Amol Karhadkar review the latest from the T20 World Cup and other major updates from the world of cricket this past week.

On the bowling front, the spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid as well as the pace trio of Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan and Liam Livingstone have been excellent so far. England will miss the services of left-arm pacer Tymal Mills as he has been ruled out of the tournament due to a right thigh strain suffered in its last match.

Even though it managed to win three matches on the trot, South Africaโ€™s campaign has been far from impressive. It wilted under pressure against Australia and Temba Bavumaโ€™s men can ill-afford to repeat the mistakes against England.

South Africa will depend on Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma and David Miller to deliver the goods in the batting department, while the bowling unit will be led by top-ranked T20 bowler Tabraiz Shamsi with Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorious in support.

The teams (from)

  • South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
  • England: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
  • Match starts at 7:30pm IST.

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