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

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between West Indies and South Africa, scheduled to be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Monday.

Arguably the most important match of Group 2 in the Super Eight at the 2024 T20 World Cup will see the West Indies taking on South Africa at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Monday afternoon.

South Africa currently lead the group with four points and are in the driver's seat to reach the last four, while the West Indies are second but do possess the best net run rate of any side in the group.

Match preview

West Indies' Alzarri Joseph celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket on March 28, 2023© Reuters

The West Indies were one of only three teams along with South Africa and Australia to play and win all four matches in the first phase, but they saw their spotless record blemished in the first match of the Super Eight by England.

Batting first, the Windies posted a defendable 180/4, but as we have seen for much of the tournament, the pitch provided the bowlers with very little assistance and the English batsmen, led by Phil Salt, took advantage and chased down the target with 2.3 overs to spare.

Nevertheless, the tournament co-hosts bounced back well on Saturday as they surged to a commanding nine-wicket victory over their Northern Hemisphere counterparts, chasing down 128 in just 10.5 overs.

As a result, that has given the Windies a very strong net run rate of +1.814, which could play a crucial part in the qualification equation with England still in the hunt heading into their final Super Eight match against the US.

Wins for the West Indies and England will mean the top two spots will be decided on net run rate, while a loss for the Windies here will see them knocked out if England beat the US on Sunday.

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

South Africa have come through the two group stages with a perfect record of six wins in six, though many would likely agree that they have not been at their absolute best despite their flawless record.

The Proteas have been run close more than once in the competition, beating Bangladesh by four runs in the first phase, while almost suffering a shock defeat to Nepal, who came up a single run short of what would have been the upset of the tournament.

In the Super Eight phase, South Africa got by the United States by 18 runs in their first match before another heart-in-mouth final few overs against England on Friday, where they came away with a slender seven-run victory.

However, the one thing that has improved for the Proteas as the tournament has gone on is the performance of their top order, particularly Quinton de Kock, who has notched up back-to-back half-centuries heading into this encounter.

Despite their strong position, Aiden Markram's side could still be knocked out of the competition if they lose this match by a sizable margin and England pick up a big win over the United States.

Team News

After an excellent IPL with the Lucknow Super Giants, Nicholas Pooran has continued his tremendous run-scoring form and now leads the standings in this competition with 227 in six games.

Despite failing to take a wicket in the last match, youngster Akeal Hosein has done a remarkable job for the West Indies with the new ball. He is likely to open the bowling once again in this match opposite Andre Russell.

As mentioned, the upturn in De Kock's form has been a blessing for the South African middle-order though the performances of Reeza Hendricks are sure to be causing a concern for Proteas ahead of the knockouts.

Markram opted to revert to one specialist spinner against England last week, bringing back Ottneil Baartman in place of Tabraiz Shamsi, though the captain my opt to give the left-armer another chance in this one.

West Indies squad: Rovman Powell (c), Alzarri Joseph, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd

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

West Indies

Match One: West Indies won by five wickets
Papua New Guinea - 136/8 (20)
West Indies - 137/5 (19)

Match Two: West Indies won by 134 runs
West Indies - 173/5 (20)
Uganda - 39 (12)

Match Three: West Indies won by 13 runs
West Indies - 149/9 (20)
New Zealand - 136/9 (20)

Match Four: West Indies won by 104 runs
West Indies - 218/5 (20)
Afghanistan - 114 (16.2)

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

Match Six: West Indies won by 9 wickets
USA - 128 (19.5)
West Indies - 130/1 (10.5)

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)

Match Six: South Africa won by 7 runs
South Africa - 163/6 (20)
England - 156/6 (20)

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We say: South Africa to win

Both these sides have shown that they are susceptible to the odd poor performance, but the main difference has been that South Africa have managed to dig themselves out each time so far.

This promises to be a captivating contest with both teams dreaming of a semi-final berth, but we feel the Proteas will hold on for a close victory.

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