CHITTAGONG: South Africa would look to boost their net-run-rate with a big win against struggling qualifier Netherlands in a Group 1 Super 10 match of the ICC World Twenty20, here on Thursday. After scraping to a narrow two-run win over New Zealand, riding on the heroics of Dale Steyn, South Africa now have a chance to improve on the negative net run-rate (-0.075) as they are unlikely to be challenged by the minnows. With one defeat and a win, South Africa are placed third with two points and Thursday is their chance to move up before they face more serious challenge in England on Saturday.
New Zealand too are on two points with similar results but they are placed second due to a better NRR (+0.276). Sri Lanka are sitting pretty on top with two wins and the fight for the second place is three-way among South Africa, New Zealand and England. South Africa have a formidable batting line up and a decent bowling attack, which makes them one of the most balanced teams in this tournament.
The form of Morne Morkel, though, would be a worry for the team. The tall paceman was taken to cleaners by the Kiwi batsmen with no problem whatsoever and he ended up leaking 50 runs in his three overs. It adds pressure on Steyn, who is their trump card, and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Batting seems no problem for the Proteas but the top-order needs to be more aggressive. Hashim Amla is not a big hitter but his presence in the prevailing slow conditions is assuring.
JP Duminy is in great touch and so are other batsmen. However, they need to convert the good starts into big ones. It is a tremendous challenge for Netherlands, who are coming into the match after suffering one of the heaviest T20 defeats in the history of the game, to make it a contest against one of the best teams in international cricket. In the qualifiers, they showed they are a good unit. Skipper Peter Borren along with Stephen Myburgh and Wesley Barresi are the backbone of their batting. The all-round abilities of Tom Cooper further give them the sting.
But it remains to be seen how they regroup and recover from that morale-sapping defeat against Sri Lanka after being all out for the lowest total of 39 in T20 history. They have nothing to lose and should give it all. Their paceman Timm van der Gugten is a good prospect. He has good speed and consistently hits the 140kmph mark but struggles with line and length.
South Africa: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Quinton de Kock, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller 7 Albie Morkel 8 Imran Tahir, 9 Albie Morkel, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Dale Steyn
Netherlands: 1 Peter Borren (capt), 2 Wesley Barresi, 3 Mudassar Bukhari, 4 Ben Cooper, 5 Tom Cooper, 6 Stephan Myburgh, 7 Pieter Seelaar, 8 Michael Swart, 9 Eric Szwarczynski, 10 Logan van Beek, 11 Timm van der Gugten.
LAHORE: A seventh meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee (MC), presided ...