South Africa and England square off in a Super 10 match that could very well effectively prove a knockout clash at the World Twenty20. The Proteas got out of jail against the Netherlands, while England pulled off an emphatic victory over Sri Lanka.
Date: Saturday, March 29
Start time: 1:30 p.m. GMT
Weather: AccuWeather predicts some really hot weather and no rain for the game. Expect temperatures of up to 34 degrees celsius in the afternoon, cooling to around 28 degrees celsius in the evening. There will be plenty of dew around, too.
South Africa and England's clash is, for all intents and purposes, a knockout match. There are still many scenarios that could play out, but from a South African perspective, a win is important—a convincing win, with an increase in net-run rate, is absolutely crucial.
All of South Africa's matches have been tight. They lost to Sri Lanka by five runs, beat New Zealand by two runs and then edged the Netherlands by six runs; not exactly conducive to upping the net-run rate. Should it come down to it, their failures against Holland will seriously cost them.
England's net-run rate situation isn't all that different, and they will need a massive win to get it into positive figures. Neither side can lose focus of the bigger task at hand, though. Both need to win.
While England pulled off a stunning chase against Sri Lanka, thanks to Alex Hales' maiden century, they have many concerns. Their fielding was atrocious, and the bowling left much to be desired. South Africa, meanwhile, have been flaky, and the batting line-up is yet to click.
South Africa's coach, Russell Domingo, was brutally honest in his assessment of the team's dealing with pressure. Many of South Africa's dismissals have been due to poor shot selection, and the coach admitted that it's something that needs improving. According to Cricket365.com, he told a post-match press conference:
Our thinking during the innings hasn't been where it needs to be. There were some poor dismissals and some poor thinking which set us back big time today.
No pressure situation will be bigger than the upcoming one against England. In T20, things can change in a flash. While England have been the walking wounded for some time now, the win over Sri Lanka was perhaps the little bit of inspiration they needed to harness some momentum ahead of a key clash.
Both teams are used to conditions by now, and the only difference is that South Africa, unlike England, have not played under the lights yet. With that comes a new challenge for the Proteas in their most important game of the Super 10. Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride for both sides.
JP Duminy has been a star performer for South Africa and will need to do more of the same against England. Somebody needs to play a stable role in the innings, and Duminy has been the only player who has shown the capability to do so.
Eoin Morgan's half-century went almost unnoticed against Sri Lanka, but it was a valuable contribution to the chase. Like Duminy, Morgan has to be the player who guides the innings from the middle and keeps his head, especially if everyone round them starts losing theirs.
Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Aaron Phangiso, Jean-Paul Duminy,Morne Morkel, Albie Morkel, David Miller, Beuran Hendricks, Farhaan Behardien, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Imran Tahir, Quinton de Kock (w/k), Faf du Plessis (c)
Chris Woakes, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler (wk), Luke Wright, Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Ravi Bopara, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad (c), Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Eoin Morgan, James Tredwel