ICC Champions Trophy

Morkel out of Champs Trophy

2013-06-07 11:58
Morne Morkel (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Beleaguered South Africa suffered a major blow on Friday when fast bowler Morne Morkel was ruled out of the rest of the Champions Trophy with a leg injury.

Morkel limped off while bowling his seventh over during Thursday's 26-run loss to India, and MRI scans confirmed a grade one injury on the left quadricep, with recovery expected to take three weeks.

"There is a tear in the layer covering the muscle, which means the recovery time will be longer than we thought," team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.

South Africa are due to name a replacement soon, hoping he will fly in by Saturday.

AB de Villiers' men must defeat Pakistan in Birmingham on Monday to keep their hopes alive of taking one of the two semi-final spots from group B, which also features the West Indies.

The Proteas, already without veterans Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis for the eight-nation tournament, are sweating over premier fast bowler Dale Steyn's side strain which forced him to sit out on Thursday.

Steyn is not a certain starter against Pakistan, who already enjoy a psychological edge following their six-wicket win over the Proteas in the warm-up game.

"Dale is a work in a progress as far as recovery is concerned," Moosajee said. "We can only get him to start bowling once he is symptom free. The physiotherapist is working hard on him and taking it day by day."

India took advantage of the depleted attack to rattle up 331-7 after being sent in to bat, with left-hander Shikhar Dhawan smashing 114 off 94 balls after an opening stand of 127 with Rohit Sharma (65).

India slipped from 210-1 to 260-5, but an unbeaten 47 from 29 balls by Ravindra Jadeja steered the World Cup holders past the 300-run mark.

The South Africans made a brave chase of the daunting target and replied with 305 following a defiant century stand between skipper AB de Villiers and pinch-hitter Robin Peterson for the third wicket.

De Villiers hit 70 off 71 balls, his sixth half-century in the last eight one-dayers and the fourth in succession. Peterson made a career-best 68.

Ryan McLaren gave India a fright towards the end with an unbeaten 71 off 61 balls, adding 48 for the last wicket with the hobbling Morkel, but the effort was not enough to snatch a dramatic win.

De Villiers said his team made crucial errors, including the run-outs of Peterson and David Miller, but hoped his team will bounce back despite the depleted attack.

"We now have a very important game against Pakistan," he said. "We are going there to win and we have to keep the aggressive mind-set that we had in Cardiff.

"It is basically a do or die. We'd like to win at least two out of the three games. When you win just one out of three, net run-rate come into play. We would not like to have that.

"Each game we play here we have to try to win it. It's a short tournament. There is no room for errors. We'll try to repair that in the next game and go for a big one."


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