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Preview: T20 World Cup: England vs. South Africa - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between England and South Africa, scheduled to be played at the Beausejour Stadium on Friday.

Familiar foes England and South Africa will lock horns in their second match of the Super Eight phase at the 2024 T20 World Cup On Friday afternoon at the Beausejour Stadium.

Both sides come into this match off the back of impressive wins last time out, and another victory here will put them in a commanding position to reach the semi-final.


Match preview

England's Jos Buttler reacts on June 8, 2024© Reuters

After a shaky start to the tournament and squeaking through the group stage, England seem to have found top gear and will head into this encounter brimming with confidence following an eight-wicket victory over the West Indies just 24 hours ago.

Jos Buttler won the toss and sent the Windies in to bat, and there were concerns that it may have been the wrong decision, as the tournament co-hosts got off to an excellent start and posted a very defendable 180/4 in 20 overs.

In contrast to the group-stage matches, the pitches being used in the Super Eight matches have been much more batsmen-friendly, and the English bowling attack, particularly the pacemen, struggled to have much of an impact.

However, with the bat, the Three Lions flew out the traps, led by Phil Salt, who managed a tournament-high 87 runs in 47 balls, including seven fours and five sixes. He was supported well by Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, as England managed to chase down the total with 15 balls to spare.

That result would have done wonders for the side's morale and they will also benefit from the fact that they will be playing on the same pitch in this match, while the South Africans played their last match up in Antigua and Barbuda.

 South Africa's David Miller celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Netherlands' Bas de Leede on June 5, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, South Africa kept their perfect record in this competition intact by beating the United States in their opening match of the Super Eights at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Batting first, the Proteas posted 194/4 in 20 overs, which was their highest total of the competition by some distance, with their previous best being 115/7 against Nepal in their final group-stage match.

After a dismal group stage in which he scored just 48 runs in four innings, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock finally broke the shackles, scoring an impressive 74 runs in 40 balls at the top of the innings, giving his side a solid platform to build on, which is something they have not had for the majority of the competition.

While the surface did not give the bowlers much assistance, Kagiso Rabada put in a solid spell, picking up his best figures in this year's T20 World Cup of 3/18 in his four overs, helping to contain the US to 176/6.

The Proteas now face their sternest test of the competition but do have a slight psychological advantage over this opponent, having beaten them 2-1 in the most recent three-match series back in July 2022.


Team News

England's Chris Jordan celebrates after taking the wicket of Australia's Tim David on June 8, 2024© Reuters

Phil Salt's innings against the West Indies saw him move up to seventh in the leading run-scorer standings, currently on 147 in four innings at a strike rate of 181.48.

Aside from Jofra Archer, none of the English pace bowlers managed to pick up a wicket against the Windies, and Buttler may consider bringing Chris Jordan back into the starting 11, especially given the short turnaround time between games.

For Aiden Markram, the big call will be over whether to continue with two spinners in the side. Tabraiz Shamsi had an excellent outing against Nepal in the final group match but went for more than 12 runs an over against the US in the last match.

Should the Proteas' skipper opt to go with one spinner, it would likely mean that Ottneil Baartman will return to the lineup after being left out for Shamsi in the last match.


England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Mark Wood


South Africa squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottneil Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs


Series so far

England

Match One: No Result

Match Two: England lost by 36 runs
Australia - 201/7 (20)
England - 165/6 (20)

Match Three: England won by eight wickets
Oman - 47 (13.2)
England - 50/2 (3.1)

Match Four: England won by 41 runs (DLS method)
England - 122/8 (10)
Namibia - 84/3 (10)

Match Five: England won by 8 wickets
West Indies - 180/4 (20)
England - 181/2 (17.3)

South Africa

Match One: South Africa won by 6 wickets
Sri Lanka 77 (19.1)
South Africa - 80/4 (16.2)

Match Two: South Africa won by 4 wickets
Netherlands - 103/9 (20)
South Africa - 106/6 (18.5)

Match Three: South Africa won by 4 runs
South Africa - 113/6 (20)
Bangladesh - 109/7 (20)

Match Four: South Africa won by 1 run
South Africa - 115/7 (20)
Nepal - 114/7 (20)

Match Five: South Africa won by 18 runs
South Africa: 194/4 (20)
USA - 176/6 (20)


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We say: England to win

While South Africa have the better record in the competition, their top-order has been largely inconsistent despite having a significantly easier fixture list to this point.

England's batsmen, on the other hand, seem to have adapted well to the conditions here in Saint Lucia and will benefit massively from having had time in the centre against the West Indies just a day earlier.

It is usually an excellent watch when these two powerhouses collide, but we feel the Three Lions have the better batting lineup to come out on top in this one.

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England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
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