Saturday, 08 May 2010
|South Africa Vs England|
Venue :6th Match Super 8s Group E, Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
The 6th game of the Super Eight stage will see England play South Africa at Bridgetown in Barbados. Both sides had won their opening encounter and this means that the team winning this game will be almost sure to go through to the next round, that is the semi-finals, whereas the team losing this encounter will need to restart all over again and win the last match in order to have any chance of making it through to the next round.
England did not have a great first round of the tournament, having lost to West Indies in the first game and then, going on to almost lose another one before the rains prevented any play and sending them through to the next round with a better net run-rate than Ireland.
However, their game against Pakistan was a revelation as they batted and bowled much better than their opposition. They could have been hit around for too many runs by the Pakistan batsmen, but the spinners held their nerves and bowled beautifully at an opposition which loves to play spin bowling.
The pitch at Barbados was such that the batsmen did struggle to come to grips with it, but the good thing was that Kevin Pietersen batted on through the innings. He did not flinch even he got beaten, and almost took that pull stroke out of his armoury to which he had got out in both the earlier games in the tournament.
This means that when England take on the traditional foes South Africa, the contest will be an even one.
South Africa had, rather unsurprisingly, sent out Loots Bosman for the previous game and called in Herschelle Gibbs, and Gibbs contributed, both, with the bat and in the field. He scored a 24-ball 30 that took his side through the middle overs and then held three smart catches to push the Kiwis back in that game.However, for this game, South Africa will know that they are up against an opposition who had, only late last year, held them to a 1-1 draw in a T20I series. Both the games were high-scoring and that is where the English batsmen had been able to score, unlike this game which may not be high-scoring. Instead, this one could be a grind, and one can expect the team that is able to bat through the initial phase without losing too many wickets to be able to do much better.