Durban - Stand-in Proteas captain Justin Ontong believes failure by the in-form Chris Gayle could be South Africa's best chance of beating the West Indies in the final T20 International in Durban on Wednesday.
The mercurial opening batsman has destroyed the attack in the opening two matches, giving the islanders an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Gayle's scores of 77 and 90, at a strike rate of over 200, have earned him the man-of-the-match awards in both games, but Ontong was hoping that to get the opener out early to raise the Proteas' prospects.
"The big thing is...is he is due for a failure? Hopefully it happens tomorrow (on Wednesday)," said Ontong.
Let ourselves down
Asked what the plan for Gayle would be, the Cape Cobras skipper preferred to play his cards close to his chest.
"I don't think it's ideal for me to say because Gayle will hear it," he said.
"He's a world-class player and it's very hard to contain him on his day. But we obviously we have a plan A and B.
"It's all about the execution of skills. I think we've let ourselves down there."
However, Ontong warned that the tourists had other treats too.
"I think everyone's talking about Gayle, but we're forgetting that they still have a number of match-winners in their midst," he said.
"The plans we had for the other players were very good and the way we bowled to them.
"T20 is so unpredictable and you do need a little bit of luck as well.
"But they do certainly have a lot of match-winners and we need to make sure we keep an eye on all of them."
Rest Du Plessis
Despite the match having little meaning, Ontong felt there was still plenty to play for.
"This is very much a big game for us. We owe it to ourselves. We have been playing very good cricket and we've just been unlucky to get over that final hurdle.
"But we are very desperate to get a win under our belt. Two-one sounds better than 3-0 so we want to go out there and make our fans proud. We are going to fight hard tomorrow (on Wednesday)."
Ontong was named skipper on Tuesday after Cricket SA opted to rest regular captain Faf du Plessis.
"I'm just so privileged to be captain of my country...it's a dream come true," Ontong said.
"It's probably the proudest cricket moment of my career."