• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

England eye redemption against South Africa in T20 World Cup clash

Seven months ago, during their 50-over World Cup campaign, England experienced their worst defeat by runs, losing to South Africa by 229 runs.

In the T20 World Cup, England seem to be faring better, having defeated co-hosts the West Indies by eight wickets in St Lucia on Wednesday. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

ENGLAND will aim for a change of fortune as they face South Africa on Friday in the T20 World Cup, hoping to move closer to the semi-finals after a heavy loss in their last encounter with the Proteas.

Seven months ago in Mumbai, during their 50-over World Cup campaign, England experienced their worst defeat by runs, losing to South Africa by 229 runs after conceding their highest-ever ODI total of 399.

That defeat was part of a disappointing run where England lost six out of nine games, failing to make the knockout stage in India.

In the T20 World Cup, England seem to be faring better, having defeated co-hosts the West Indies by eight wickets in St Lucia on Wednesday. Chasing a target of 181, England won with 15 balls to spare, achieving a better net run-rate than South Africa, who had a tense 18-run win over the United States.

A victory against South Africa in St Lucia would likely secure England’s place in the semi-finals. Several players from both teams’ previous encounter in India will be playing on Friday.

Phil Salt, who scored an unbeaten 87 against the West Indies, and fast bowler Jofra Archer, who returned to international duty in this tournament, were not part of the defeat in October.

Archer, having missed the match at the Wankhede Stadium due to injury, reflected on the past tournament. “I didn’t watch that one as I was heading back to the UK. It wasn’t a great tournament, but we have moved past it,” Archer said in a pre-match press conference.

“We’ve just won one of the toughest games of the tournament. It’s a tough group, and South Africa is as challenging as any other team. We just need to come up with another effective plan.”

Archer bowled a crucial 16th over against West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran, conceding no runs off five balls and taking Pooran’s wicket. Meanwhile, Salt hit Romario Shepherd for 30 runs in the same over.

“It was everything we talked about in the bowling meetings, and I’m glad that over was probably the turning point,” Archer added.

England now face Heinrich Klaasen, whose century led South Africa to victory in Mumbai. Klaasen said, “We’re looking forward to playing against England. They’re a dangerous side with many match-winners. We need to play our big moments better than they do.”

“Hopefully, we can continue our good cricket under pressure and secure a semi-final spot by winning two out of two,” Klaasen concluded.

(AFP)

 

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