Preview: Semi-final spot on the line for South Africa in clash with Netherlands
A semi-final spot is on the line for South Africa when they face the Netherlands in a do-or-die clash at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
A South Africa victory will secure their place in the semi-finals after missing the opportunity to lock one in with a game to spare when going down to Pakistan in their rain-soaked match.
But a Netherlands upset here would allow the winner of the Pakistan-Bangladesh match to leapfrog Temba Bavuma and his men into the all-important top two spots in Group 2 and send South Africa packing.
South Africa were arguably the form side of the Super 12 stage as they started their tournament with three rousing victories that included a five-wicket triumph over a white-hot India.
But a slip-up after rain interrupted their clash with Pakistan has brought South Africa back to the pack and at risk of an early end to their T20 World Cup campaign.
The in-form Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw will want to bounce back against the Netherlands after falling cheaply to Shaheen Afridi of Pakistan, although skipper Bavuma found some much-needed touch in that match with a quick-fire 36.
South Africa will hope to recall David Miller after the middle-order powerhouse missed the loss to Pakistan due to back spasms, and can expect more from pacer Kagiso Rabada than the two wickets he has claimed so far.
Netherlands can target back-to-back victories after ending Zimbabwe’s semi-final dreams when they secured a comfortable five-wicket win.
Opener Max O’Dowd sits among the leading run-scorers at the T20 World Cup with 213 from seven innings and his steady starts will again crucial to Netherlands’ chances.
Right-arm quick Paul van Meekeren has increasingly looked at home in the Super 12 stage and has seven wickets in four matches in that period, including 3/29 against Zimbabwe.
While the Netherlands might lack experience in playing in occasions as pivotal as this, they will only need a couple of their middle-order batters like Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede and skipper Scott Edwards to get going to make South Africa sweat.
“South Africa is a good outfit,” veteran Roelof van der Merwe told reporters on Saturday.
“(But) we've played some good cricket at stages in this tournament, and we know on the day we can turn them over if we just stick to what we've been doing well.”
Predicted Playing XI
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (capt), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi
Netherlands: Max O'Dowd, Stephan Myburgh, Tom Cooper, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards (capt, wk), Tim Pringle, Logan van Beek, Fred Klaassen, Paul van Meekeren, Brandon Glover
The speedster has been among the most damaging bowlers at the T20 World Cup and is the only one with two four-wicket hauls so far. The depth of the South Africa pace attack means Nortje is usually the fourth bowler used but his ability to restrict runs as well as claim scalps means the right-armer is invaluable in the final overs.
Bas De Leede
The young Netherlands all-rounder was a standout in the First Round but has found the Super 12 stage tougher and had to retire hurt after copping a blow to the face while batting against Pakistan. De Leede showed his resilience by fronting up to Zimbabwe just three days later and took 2/14 off four overs to now have the equal-second most wickets at the T20 World Cup with 11.
Dream11 Fantasy Picks
Captaincy Pick: Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock has not been able to consistently score in the 2022 edition of the T20 World Cup. But it’s a known fact that once he gets in his zone, it becomes difficult for any bowler in the world to stop the damage he can inflict. The 29-year-old opener is someone who can score aggressively in the powerplay and also has all the capabilities in the world to bat deep and win matches for his team in any given situation.
Must Have Pick: Anrich Nortje
South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje has caused a lot of problems for the opposition batters in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022. The speed of Nortje has been rattling and his 13.3 overs from four overs in the tournament has seen him pick as many as 10 wickets at an average of 8.40 and a very impressive economy rate of 6.22. In his side’s last match against Pakistan, he leaked 41 runs but picked four wickets. The 28-year-old also picked a four-wicket haul against Bangladesh. The expectations will once again be high when Nortje runs in with the ball in his hand against Netherlands, a team which hasn’t faced him yet.
Differential Pick: Max O’Dowd
Max O’Dowd is the top run-scorer for his side in the tournament so far. In fact, he is just seven runs behind Virat Kohli who is leading the runs chart currently. However, he has played three more matches than Kohli as Netherlands were also a part of the first round of the T20 World Cup 2022. A total of 213 runs at an average of 35.50 and a strike rate of 115.76 have come off the blade of the 28-year-old batter.
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
Feel the buzz in the stands and see the best teams in the world play on the biggest stage of all.