SA in West Indies

Proteas scent ODI victory

2010-05-27 08:01
Graeme Smith (File)
Roseau - South Africa will look to exploit a weakened West Indies side, and clinch an unbeatable lead in their One-day International series at Windsor Park on Friday.

South Africans lead the series 2-0, following a 66-run victory in the first ODI last Saturday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, where they also prevailed by 17 runs in the second ODI on Monday.

The path for a series-clinching victory for the Proteas has been helped by injuries, which will rule out three pivotal West Indies players.

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, admitted his side has not quite reached their peak, but he was satisfied that they would enter the next two matches on the verge of another series victory.

"We have done pretty well so far in the series," he said.

"We have kept our nerve, and we have done what we need to do to win the games. The guys are working hard."

The left-handed opener was also happy with the way the batsmen had made use of batsman-friendly conditions to post challenging totals off 280 for seven, and 300 for five in the first two ODIs.

"The pitches were very slow, and I am happy with the way we have crafted our innings," he said. "We have built good partnerships, our running between the wickets has been good, and we have manipulated the fields well."

"There have not been a huge amount of boundaries on offer during the middle of the innings, and so we have had to run hard to keep the score moving."

Medical scans have revealed that Ramnaresh Sarwan has sustained a Grade 1 hamstring tear that will keep him out of action for the next two to three weeks.

Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller will also be sidelined for the same period with a side strain, and fast bowler Kemar Roach will rest a troublesome ankle until the start of the Test series between the two sides.

Left-handed batsman Darren Bravo, the younger brother of West Indies vice captain and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, has been brought back from the A-Team squad currently touring Bangladesh to boost the batting reserves. All-rounder Dave Bernard Jr has also been added to give some depth to the batting and the bowling.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle felt the replacements were more than capable. He however, was more concerned about the need for the home team to rebound from the injury setbacks, and win to stay alive in the series.

"We had a few positives in the previous match, particularly the way Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo batted, and I am hoping that we can carry them into the match," said Gayle.

"I think the bowlers have been doing very well, although South Africa have made two big totals because the pitches have been good, and they are bowling to experienced batsmen that know how to manipulate the ball."

He added: "It's now up to us, the batsmen, to play our part. I think we have been letdown with our batting in the middle period of the innings, when rotation of the strike is very important.

"Once we put that kind of pressure on ourselves at that stage, it's always going to be difficult for the batsmen coming lower down, so we need to work on this as quickly as possible."

On their previous trip to the Caribbean, South Africa completed a 5-0 sweep in the ODI series, and if the scattered showers forecast stay away, and they can complete a victory in the third ODI, they could repeat this achievement.

Windsor Park hosted its first two ODIs last year, when Bangladesh took advantage of a West Indies side ravaged by industrial action by the leading players because of unsatisfactory terms and conditions of engagement. In both matches, the pitch appeared to be batsman friendly, which sets the stage for more high-scoring.


West Indies:

Chris Gayle (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Sulieman Benn, Dave Bernard Jr, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Dale Richards, Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor

South Africa:

Graeme Smith (capt), Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, Abraham de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Alviro Pietersen, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe

Read more on:    west indies  |  proteas

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