Australia vs South Africa Tri-Series, Preview
After three matches at the spin-friendly Providence Stadium in Guyana, the action shifts to Warner Park in Basseterre as South Africa and Australia brace themselves to lock horn in the fourth match of the One-Day International triangular series on Saturday (June 11) night.
Having batted first in that match, South Africa scored 189 for 9 with Farhaan Behardien’s 82-ball 62 and Hashim Amla’s 35 off 46 balls standing out. Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy missed out on that occasion, but with Kagiso Rabada’s fiery spell of 3 for 13 in seven overs taking it to a commanding victory in the end, it will remain confident going into this match.
Rilee Rossouw, who scored just seven runs batting at No. 3, later injured his shoulder while fielding at the boundary, and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament. Dean Elgar was drafted in to the squad as replacement.
Apart from Rabada, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir bagged two wickets each, which is bound to boost their morale as they prepare to take on the same opponents once again on what is expected to be a turning track.
“I just thought we didn’t pick the ball well enough out of the spinner’s hand, that’s something that is just a basic of batting,” said Justin Langer, Australia’s acting head coach. “Under those lights and in those conditions it was tough. But you give yourself a chance if you pick the ball up early out of the bowler’s hand. We weren’t as patient as we needed to be. We said before the game, if it takes us 50 overs to get it, it takes us 50 overs to get it.
“We talked about adapting, we talked about having good partnerships and looking after each other. We probably didn’t do any of those things particularly well the other night.”
Australia’s batting unit, which decimated the West Indies attack in the first game thanks to David Warner’s clinical half-century, might have faltered against de Villiers’ men, but Aaron Finch, who had a good outing in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, scored 72 off 103 balls to continue his good work in the 50-over format. Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh though, would be eager to contribute in the matches ahead.
In the bowling department, with Mitchell Starc rested after the first game, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Glenn Maxwell bagged two wickets each, while Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon, whose figures of 3 for 39 against West Indies earned him the Man of the Match award, picked up a wicket each against South Africa.
So far in the tournament, the conditions have been spin-friendly, and the slower bowlers are expected to thrive on Saturday night too. The tournament will have each team facing the other two thrice, before the top two teams meet in the final on June 26 in Barbados.