Toss: South Africa won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Umpires: Paul Reiffel & Richard Illingworth
What Actually Happened
Winner: South Africa won by 6 wickets
Scores: Bangladesh 84/10 South Africa 86/4
Player of the Match:Kagiso Rabada 3/20
Anrich Nortje (3.2-0-8-3)
Taskin Ahmed (4-0-18-2)
Mahedi Hasan 27 (25)
Temba Bavuma 31* (28)
Moments of The Day:
Kagiso Rabada & Anrich Nortje are back. The duo had captured the imagination for the Delhi Capitals. Although Nortje has been in form, Rabada has been off color for the past two years. Today a combined figures of 7.2-0-28-6 totally destroyed Bangladesh.
South Africa felt the nerves at 33/3 in 6 overs. However Rassie van der Dussen 22 (27) & captain Bavuma 31* (28) ensured stable victory.
Taskin Ahmed has been the only bright spot for Bangladesh in this poor tournament. He has looked faster and stronger after bursting onto the scene in 2015 and disappearing for a couple of years after that.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Bangladesh Are Having a Horror Tournament
This is now their 4th consecutive loss and 5th in 7 games this tournament. The pitch was slow enough if their batters could have mustered around 130-150, but 84 is not going to win you games. Not even in T10 cricket.
Moments of The Day: Hasaranga’s Hat-Trick, Miller-Rabada’s Finishing Defines Close Game
Pathum Nissanka has been one of the most promising names in Sri Lanka’s domestic circuit, boasting a first class average of 64.45 & scoring his first ton within 4 Tests. With this 72, I am glad he has transferred his talent in T20Is.
Temba Bavuma has been under scrutiny ever since his Test debut and more so, since captaincy. His 46 (46) might not look inspiring, but in this World T20, each team needs a middle order batter that can grind it out. Also his leadership with the QDK saga has been brilliant. Supporting his teammate all the way, while standing up for the movement at the same time.
Let us talk about David Miller. In 2018 & 2020, he averaged 20.16 with 113.08 SR and 25.00 average at 120.48 SR respectively. He had a good 2019, which kept him in the team but he is flourishing this year – 46.50 at 148.80. This match with the World Cup on the line, he struck two of the cleanest sixes of the World Cup, with Rabada hitting the last 4 to give South Africa a close victory. Miller’s career phases- Killer Miller, Accumulator Miller, Gone Miller….and the Old Miller is back!
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Can SL Keep Playing the Same Brand of Cricket?
SL are one of the only countries playing a positive brand of Cricket regardless of the situation. The attitude helped them win 4 in 4, but with 2 consecutive losses including a close one here might dent their confidence. Can they continue in a similar fashion?
T20 World Cup Points Table, Stat Alert
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Highest Run Scorer, Highest Wicket Taker, Most Catches, and Most Dismissals. We will keep updating it in every article!
West Indies Vs South Africa 2021 Series Review – An enthralling encounter to follow from any neutral fans’ perspective.
Once boasting the greatest generations in cricket history, West Indies & South Africa are now mediocre at best. Yet both teams are showing signs of improvement.
Coming back into form, seniors like Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada stood up in this series, Nortje-van Der Dussen continued to chug along smoothly, and Tabraiz Shamsi-George Linde-Keshav Maharaj spun West Indies into trouble. For the West Indies, Kemar Roach, 19-year old debutant Jayden Seales, and Kyle Mayers, the bowler, were the only positives in the Test series but the World Cup winning squad (bar Sunil Narine) regrouped for this T20I series.
South Africa swept the Tests 2-0 along with a thrilling 3-2 T20I series victory over the mighty West Indies. Were the Proteas really as good as the score line suggests? Not really. Were West Indies really that bad? Not at all.
Positives for both teams, but room for improvement for both as well. Detailed analysis ahead.
Here is a summary of the highest scorers and run-getters from both teams in the Tests and T20I series respectively.
South Africa Tour of West Indies – Results Stats, & Highlights
WI-SA Test Series: SA won 2-0
Why was this even a part of the World Test Championship? Yes, the second Test, part of the WTC group stage, was scheduled at the same time as the World Test Championship Final. Explain that.
WTC apart, this was a one-sided series dominated by the fast bowlers. Rabada, Roach, Maharaj, Ngidi, Nortje, Jason Holder, Jayden Seales, and even Kyle Mayers were among the wickets. Except for Quinton de Kock & Rassie van der Dussen (and Dean Elgar/Aiden Markram with 1-50 each), no batter could hold a bat. Scores of 97, 162, 149, 165 (WI) and 322, 298, & 174 (SA) tells you the story.
Quinton de Kock – 237 runs (Best of 141*, 118.50 average, 1-100, 1-50)
Kemar Roach – 9 wickets (Best inning – 4/52, Best Match – 7/97, 17.88 average)
Kagiso Rabada – 11 wickets (Best inning – 5/11, Best Match – 6/48, 11.45 average)
West Indies Vs South Africa 2021 T20I Series Stats
WI-SA T20I Series: SA won 3-2
160, 166, 166, 167, 168. Consistency of the ages.
Quinton de Kock’s majestic run, Lewis’ power, Anrich Nortje’s 19th over in the 3rd T20I, Russell’s first ball six to Rabada, Fabian Allen destroying Ngidi’s figures, Pollard’s 4 sixes in one over, Gayle taking a quick single/opening the bowling/attempting a somersault, Markram’s shots, and the Shamsi-Linde spinning South Africa to victory—this series had it all.
West Indies Vs South Africa 2021 Test Series Stats
In the year of the T20 World Cup, Simmons-Gayle-Pollard-Bravo-Russell are back. Although performances were spotty, the team spirit was right up there.
Fabian Allen & Evin Lewis were the stars for West Indies in the T20I series. 2/18, 34 (12), 14* (9), and 19* (13) were cameos that kept West Indies alive even after the top 6/7 had departed. This is just the youth firepower West Indies needs. Great fielder and spinner as well. Fabian Allen – the complete package.
Evin Lewis’ destructive 71 (35) in the first T20I and Pollard’s 51* (25) showcased the potential for this West Indian line-up. If one player fires, another holds the other end, with a Fabian Allen/Russell-esque finish, then this side can be very dangerous. Otherwise, they can easily fall apart.
Combination of youth and old guard the key to West Indies’ bowling success. Obed McCoy & Jayden Seales were the find for the Windies in this series and with Oshane Thomas, Alzarri Joseph, & Chamar Holder in the ranks, they have a good fast-bowling generation coming up. Hence, it was nice that Dwayne Bravo came back from his retirement to give his best T20I performance (4/19) in the 4th ODI. 37-years, 482 T20s, and 527 T20 wickets young. Marvelous. Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards & even a bit of Russell really puts this West Indian attack back on the map.
Room For Improvement
Pooran’s form a bit of a concern. In the last 10 T20 innings read: 0, 0, 9, 0, 19, 0 (IPL 2021) & 9, 26, 16, 20 (WI vs SA). While double digits is a vast improvement from his IPL form this year, his lack of rotation in the middle and inability to finish games off will trigger a debate on his place in the XI. An in-form Andre Fletcher with the gloves is breathing down his neck.
West Indies utilized these 5 games and experimented with the batting order (although slightly unsuccessfully). At #3-4, West Indies played Gayle-Russell, Gayle-Pooran, Holder-Hetmyer, and Gayle-Hetmyer (twice). It seems that Russell and Pollard are the designated floaters if the top order bat long and Holder-Pooran are in-charge in case of a collapse. Good idea. Needs consistency.
The left-arm spinners stole the show for South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi is justifiably ICC’s #1 T20I bowler in the world. 1-11, 2-13, 2-13, 1-16, 1-27. An economy of 4 against a lineup of Lewis-Gayle-Pollard-Pooran-Russell is a stuff of dreams. On every occasion that Simmons/Fletcher-Lewis provided West Indies with a blistering start, George Linde and Shamsi stalled their progress. In slow UAE pitches, this duo will be a handful. Keshav Maharaj’s 9 wickets in the Tests, including a 5-36 and a hat-trick (thanks to Muldur’s catch) to wrap up the second Test, was the icing on the cake. Brilliant collective spin performance.
Quinton de Kock & Kagiso Rabada are back at their best. In the 2020-21 season, QDK only scored 74 runs at 12.33 in 6 Test innings and 77 runs in 3 T20I innings. Rabada was finally getting out of form as well—Only 5 Test wickets (4 innings) at 39.40 in 2020-21 and no 5 wicket hauls since 2018. QDK scored 492 runs across the series’ with 1-100 & 4-50s and 18-wicket haul for Rabada, including a Test 5-fer.
Aiden Markam has stepped it up this year. After a wonderful debut year, his form took a nosedive and has been on a roller-coaster ride ever since. Sometimes captain, sometimes not and switched between opening & middle order as well. Since the Pakistan series, he has scores of 51, 54, 63, & 70 in T20Is (out of 7 games played) along with a 60 in Test. Just needs to convert now and make the place his own.
Room For Improvement
Questions on Bavuma-Hendricks: With Faf du Plessis’ imminent return for the T20I World Cup, where the pair of captain Bavuma-Reeza Hendricks fit in the equation is an open question. This was the series to make their mark. Unfortunately the stats do not add up:
Bavuma: 76 runs, 15.20 average, 108.57 SR
Hendricks: 78 runs, 19.50 average, 139.28 SR
The 6th bowler is probably the biggest concern for the Proteas. Apart from Shamsi (4.00 economy), Anrich Nortje (7.00), and Linde (7.81), the bowling, particularly at the death, has been horrendous. With Rabada (9.44), Lungi Ngidi (10.94), and Hendricks-Markram giving away 65 runs in 4 overs, some things need to change.
South Africa’s World Cup hopes lie on Chris Morris & Imran Tahir. If Morris is in, the side will be balanced and will give SA a genuine death bowling option: Rabada-Nortje-Morris-Linde-Shamsi-Tahir, and now we are talking about a world class T20I line-up. Add to the that, a Faf-QDK-Markram-van der Dussen-Miller batting line up, South Africa are dark horses for the T20I WC for sure.
T20I World Cup Squad Predictions
West Indies Squad Predictions
Lendl Simmons, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Chris Gayle, 4. Shimron Hetmyer, 5. Kieron Pollard*, 6. Nicholas Pooran (WK), 7. Andre Russell, 8. Fabian Allen, 9. Dwayne Bravo, 10. Kevin Sinclair, 11. Obed McCoy
Although South Africa are on a positive slope, they do not have as many practice games to get their perfect XI out before the IPL & T20 WC.
West Indies, on the other hand, lost the series but gained some insight due to experimentation. They still have 10 home T20 games—but this is a double edge sword. They have time to put their perfect group together, but also have more opportunities to expose their weaknesses.
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Moment of The Day: Chris Gayle’s Stump Goes Flying
After Kagiso Rabada’s consistent breakthrough IPL seasons, IPL 2021 has been a letdown so far. With Anrich Nortje on the bench, his position was under the scanner. Just 3 wickets in the last 5 games, he came back with a 3/36 today. My moment of the day was Rabada taking Gayle’s stump out with a full-toss after Gayle had dispatched Rabada for a six.
Mayank Agarwal was the batsman of IPL 2020 although he got injured halfway through. After his form dropped from Test cricket, he was not looking like his own. Even though he was among the runs this year, the ball-striking and strike rate was not up to par. As stand-in captain for KL Rahul, he was back to his absolute best. 99* (58) pushed PBKS to a competitive score of 166.
Honorable Mention: Hetmyer’s finishes it off in style – 16* (4) with 2 sixes
T20 World Cup Spotlight: Shaw, Shikhar Shoe-In for the 23-Member Squad?
Prithvi Shaw has been single-handedly dismantling the opposition within the powerplay, while Shikhar Dhawan has been killing the opposition softly. Together, they have formed a deadly combination, both in the top 4 of top run-getters.
Dhawan is the orange cap: 380 runs, 54.28 average, 134.27 strike rate.
If the T20 World Cup happens, they should definitely make the squad now. The question is, do they make the XI? With Mumbai Indians trio Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar struggling for form, Dhawan-Shaw might be a wildcard opening entry rather than Sharma-Kohli. KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal are the other options.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Dawid Malan
Nicholas Pooran was finally dropped for Dawid Malan. Malan already scored higher than Pooran in his six games – but the strike rate was concerning. 26 (26) with a few good looking shots and singles, but was bogged down. Where do things stand for him?
Ravi Bishnoi has pulled some blinders and have had some good games with the ball. After Harpreet got Prithvi Shaw out and Steve Smith slow to get off, PBKS had a sniff. Shikhar Dhawan had other plans as he destroyed Bishnoi. Ended with figures of 4-0-42-0.
The Delhi franchise has seen almost all kinds of seasons in the IPL. They have seen the height of the qualifiers & semi-finals, including a run to the final in 2020, as well as rock bottom. Everything except for an IPL victory.
Injury to Shreyas Iyer shifts the planning a little bit, but with Rahane & Steven Smith in the reserves, this should not be a problem. What do you say? Can they go one step further?
2nd. Brilliant start, a steep fall, and a predictable ending—Mumbai Indians edging them in the final. Several positives regardless:
Shikhar Dhawan & Shreyas Iyer dependable with the runs at the top
Marcus Stoinis the finisher coming to the party
The pace duo of Anrich Nortje-Kagiso Rabada giving DC the edge
Injury & COVID-19 News
The Delhi Capitals have been dealt two big blows. The captain, Shreyas Iyer, suffered a shoulder injury during the India Vs England series. He will have his surgery during the IPL and is out of the season.
Rishabh Pant has been appointed the new captain.
In addition, Axar Patel has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in quarantine. Hopefully, he returns in time, but nothing is certain during these times.
Spinners: Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Manimaran Siddharth, Praveen Dubey
Fast Medium: Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Avesh Khan, Lukman Meriwala
Overseas: Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes
Withdrawn: Shreyas Iyer
Predicted DC XI
Due to Patel’s & Iyer’s absence, the balance of the side may change. For the start, I will drop Rabada based on current form and bolster the batting with someone like Steve Smith in the middle order.
Shikhar Dhawan, 2. Prithvi Shaw, 3. Shimron Hetmyer, 4, Steve Smith/ Sam Billings, 5. Rishabh Pant (C/WK), 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Ravichandran Ashwin, 8. Amit Mishra, 9. Anrich Nortje, 10. Ishant Sharma, 11. Umesh Yadav
*Axar Patel will slot at #7 if he can return to the squad
Watch Out For
Ravichandran Ashwin – Looks like Ravi Ashwin is having a second wind to his career. A viral YouTube channel, great IPL 2020, followed by a memorable tour of Australia both with the ball and the bat. To cap it off, a century & 9-for in his home ground at Chennai in the England Test series.
With the young Rishabh Pant as captain, the leadership group of Ashwin-Dhawan-Smith-Ishant-Mishra will be quite handy. Pant has been consistently destructive in the Indian colors recently, but can he transfer this form to the IPL?