Match 9 in the tri series takes place at Kensington Oval on Friday and whoever comes out on top between West Indies and South Africa will meet Australia in Sunday’s final.
This is the final match in the round robin series and it takes the shape of an eliminator. Australia’s win over West Indies at the same venue on Tuesday booked their ticket to the final and although the Proteas come into this game four points better off than West Indies and with a better net run rate, a WI victory here will see the hosts go through as they will then have won more matches than South Africa.
West Indies started Match 8 against Australia badly, losing their first 3 wickets with just 31 runs on the board. Marlon Samuels led the recovery and he went on to make 125 with Dinesh Ramdin leading the support cast with 91. West Indies finished their 50 over allocation on 282/8 but on a good batting deck they were still second favourites at the interval. Australia lost both their openers in the first 6 overs of the chase but Smith (78), Marsh (79 not out) and a late Maxwell blitz saw them home for a 6 wicket win with 8 balls to spare.
The Proteas game against Australia in Barbados was washed out with just 6 balls faced. They did thrash WI by 139 runs in Match 6 in St Kitts, revenge for a 4 wicket defeat to the hosts in the series opener in Guyana. The Proteas hit 343/4 in the St Kitts head to head with WI, the highest total of the series by some distance and Barbados also looks a really good batting deck.
The men in Maroon will be under pressure as they could be without Captain Jason Holder for the match after he injured his hamstring during the loss to Australia on Tuesday. Holder was able to bowl only two overs before he left the field, which forced West Indies to use occasional leg-spinner Andre Fletcher and stand-in captain Kieron Pollard to make up the rest of his overs.
On the bright side, in-form batsman Marlon Samuels is full of confidence after stating at the post match press-conference, “I’ve got a hundred against everybody in the world now [full ICC members]. It’s very satisfying. Nevertheless, we still have a game on Friday and that game is very important for us to win.”
Match time is 13:00 hrs.
West Indies Squad Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels
South Africa Squad : AB de Villiers (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi.