Tri-Nation Series: West Indies vs South Africa Preview

The Proteas and the Windies clash in yet another Tri-Nation Series clash on Wednesday evening in Basseterre.

The Proteas and the West Indies will clash in the Tri-Nation Series in Basseterre on Wednesday evening. 

The West Indies’ staggering win over a David Warner-less Australia on Monday evening has piled the pressure on the Proteas. Failure to win could all but ruin their chances of making the final in Bridgetown on 26 June.

Can the South Africans find another gear in tricky batting conditions in Basseterre or will the West Indies pile more pressure and misery on the Proteas and the beleaguered Russel Domingo? Let’s find out!

West Indies vs South Africa | Wednesday 15 June | Basseterre | 18:30

To Win Match
West Indies 31/20 | Tie 35/1 | South Africa 5/10

West Indies
West Indies limited overs cricket really is like a box of chocolates – you just don’t know what you’re going to get. They were absolutely outstanding on Monday evening as they comfortably cruised past the reigning world champions, Australia by four wickets with just under 30 balls remaining.

Marlon Samuels was the star of the show as he helped himself to 92 from just 87 balls in what was a batting masterclass in the face of a quality Aussie bowling attack. Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher laid the platform, tearing into the Australian bowlers from the word go. The two would help themselves to nine boundaries off the first seven overs before the two fell in quick succession.

It was then down to Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin to support Samuels as he launched his assault on the Australian attack. His brisk scoring, highlighted by some excellent rotation of the strike, ensured that the hosts were never really in danger of losing the game provided they kept wickets in hand.

Credit needs to go to the West Indies’ attack too. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Jason Holder sent the Australians in to bat after winning the toss. His decision seemed to be vindicated after he sent down a peach of a short ball that Aaron Finch could only nick off and was duly caught by Sulieman Benn in the cordon.

Looking ahead, the West Indies are going to need to put in another solid display if they want to claim a second victory over the South Africans in as many games. In Holder, they have a calm, level-headed captain who is wise beyond his years. The Barbados-native does a fantastic job of mitigating the oft-eccentric tendencies of his teammates.

I’d not fiddle too much with the playing personnel going forward. The team appears to be heading in the right direction – even though their best players are still at loggerheads with the WICB, and as such, haven’t been considered for selection. They’ve got a useful mix of youthful exuberance and experience as well as just a dash of the famous West Indian X-factor – they could well continue to surprise moving forward in this series.

South Africa
The Proteas don’t look like a team that believe they can win at the moment. Something seems to be a bit off every time they take to the field, while I can’t quite lay my finger on it, there is definitely something going on behind closed doors. Whether it’s the pressure on Domingo or the fact that they’re just playing far too much cricket, something needs to change if South African cricket is going to move in the right direction.

They weren’t terrible last time out against Australia, however, they never seemed to be in the race following the dismissals of Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. The two seemed to take to the Basseterre surface like fish to water, and proceeded to take the Australian attack apart with some outstanding off-side play.

AB de Villiers looked jaded again while Quinton de Kock never really found his feet. JP Duminy played well for his 39-ball 41, but is wasn’t enough as the lower-middle order all failed miserably, with the last six batsmen only managing to add 20 runs to the total as the South African challenge whimpered, rolled over and ultimately died.

The story was much the same with the bowling too – solid enough but not very threatening. Only Imran Tahir looked a real threat throughout the game as his barrage of variations puzzled the Australian batsmen.

There isn’t really much that Domingo can change in terms of personnel heading into the next ODI against the West Indies. On paper, the squad should have absolutely no problem dispatching the West Indies – however, with confidence so low in the South African camp, you simply can’t be sure.

Verdict: South Africa 5/10
The Proteas should have too much for this West Indies team, and with the pressure on, I expect the likes of de Kock, du Plessis, de Villiers and Amla to deliver the goods with the bat. Don’t stake the rent money on it, but take the South African win at 5/10.

Value Bet: Faf du Plessis to top score for South Africa at 4/1
Faf looked to be in great touch in the last game against Australia before he got out chasing a wide one. At 4/1, he looks magnificent value to top score for the Proteas against a West Indies bowling attack that lacks the skill and guile of the Australian bowling unit.

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.

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