ICC World Twenty20

Stats weigh against SA win

2014-04-03 22:30
Faf du Plessis (AFP)

Cape Town – India will be favourites not only in the minds of many critics but by statistical ammunition as well when they tackle South Africa in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final in Dhaka on Friday (15:00 SA time).

More likely to feel at home on the expected turning pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium anyway, the unbeaten, group-winning Indians will enter the clash knowing that they hold a clear-cut 5-2 edge in victories after seven prior meetings between these foes in the T20 format.

Four of those fixtures have been in the global get-together, with India claiming three wins to the Proteas’ one.

The figures paint a fairly daunting picture, but at the same time Faf du Plessis’s team have quite enjoyed their unsung status at the event and will doubtless treat Friday’s match as a further opportunity to punch above their anticipated weight -- rather than be burdened with their old ICC-tourney reputation as giants who fall over their own feet when the going gets tough.

That said, if South Africa want to try to grab any solace from previous meetings, it is that they have only played India once before in Subcontinent conditions at T20 level ... and on that occasion they came within a very whisker of an upset.

In what was also the last T20 encounter between the two nations, at the Sri Lankan-staged ICC World Twenty20 of 2012/13, last man Morne Morkel was bowled off the second last delivery at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium as the Proteas were agonisingly bowled out for 151 in reply to India’s 152 for six to succumb by one run in a group game.

They have not yet played each other in India, with the three strictly bilateral meetings all having been once-off affairs on South African soil (two Wanderers, one Moses Mabhida Stadium) and India holding a 2-1 edge there as well.

Their overall T20 history against each other began in the 2006/07 season, when India won by six wickets with a ball to spare at the Wanderers.

AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel are likely to be the only two South African survivors from that meeting who will take to the field for Friday’s semi (assuming Morkel is passed suitably fit after his finger dislocation against England a few days back).

Even at that pretty infant stage of T20 as an international-level concept, the Proteas had already identified certain specialists in the game’s most condensed format, so the likes of Loots Bosman and Tyron Henderson had cracked the nod then.

South Africa’s most satisfying victory of the mere two they’ve achieved over India has to be the 12-run one achieved at the England-hosted World T20 of 2009, when they were able to defend a modest total of 130 for five (De Villiers 63).

Their heroes then were the spin duo of Johan Botha (4-0-16-3) and Roelof van der Merwe (4-0-13-1) who strangled the life out of India’s renowned strokeplayers as the side batting second were curtailed to 118 for eight in their 20 overs.

Perhaps that will serve as a motivator on Friday for the likes of in-form Imran Tahir and his slow-bowling partner JP Duminy ...

These are all the T20 results between the countries:

2006/07, Johannesburg: India won by six wickets

2007/08 (World T20), Durban: India won by 37 runs

2009 (World T20), Nottingham: SA won by 12 runs

2010 (World T20), Gros Islet: India won by 14 runs

2010/11, Durban: India won by 21 runs

2011/12, Johannesburg: SA won by 11 runs (D/L method)

2012/13 (World T20), Colombo: India won by 1 run

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing


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