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The eliminator before the decider

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The eliminator before the decider (1:15)

Alexis Nunes previews the eliminator between West Indies and South Africa at Bridgetown to meet Australia in the final (1:15)

Match facts

Friday, June 24
Start time 1300 local (1700 GMT)

Big Picture

Before this tournament it would have been bold to suggest that of the three contesting sides it would be West Indies getting two opportunities to qualify for the final. But a pair of staunch victories plus the washout between Australia and South Africa granted them an effective double chance in their final two qualifying matches, and they stretched Steven Smith's side on Tuesday before falling short. The result means the meeting with South Africa is effectively an elimination match for both teams, as they vie to make it into the competition decider on Sunday.

On a variety of pitches, West Indies have prospered through a combination of high-quality batting from Marlon Samuels and canny spin from Sunil Narine in particular. But they were made to look ordinary by Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir in their most recent encounter with South Africa, and will need to improve vastly on that display in order to progress. Complicating matters for the hosts is a hamstring strain to the captain Jason Holder, who will be restricted in his movement even if he does take the field. Should he be ruled out, Denesh Ramdin will lead West Indies.

Given their world ranking of No. 3, it would be a significant embarrassment for South Africa to fail to qualify against a Caribbean side that will miss the Champions Trophy in 2017 having let their own ranking slip out of the top eight. AB de Villiers has spoken positively of the side doing well under pressure (this isn't an ICC event after all), and the pace of the Kensington Oval pitch should allow his players plenty of opportunity to express themselves. Significantly, Friday also looms as Morne Morkel's first appearance in the tournament - his late addition to the equation may be enough to tilt the balance South Africa's way.

Form guide

West Indies LLWLW (last five completed games, most recent first)
South Africa WLWLW

In the spotlight

A pair of stunning innings against Australia have underlined Marlon Samuels' value to the West Indies top order, but he is yet to have the same impact against South Africa with scores of 1 and 24. Clearly motivated by Australian verbal jousting, Samuels will need to find a way to rev himself up for the contest against de Villiers' team. Another strong display at Kensington Oval would make a big difference to the hosts' chances of progressing, whether batting in the afternoon or chasing in the evening.

Left out of the South Africa team in Guyana and St Kitts, Morne Morkel was finally chosen for the match against Australia in Bridgetown, only to see it washed out. On a surface that offered appreciable pace and bounce when compared to the earlier venues, Morkel may well be a significant figure on Friday, especially given the struggles of West Indies' young openers against the speed of Mitchell Starc. A lack of match practice will provide a challenge for Morkel to get into his best rhythm right away, however.

Team news

Jason Holder is a doubtful starter due to a hamstring strain, though West Indies will wait until the afternoon of the match to make a call. Should Holder be ruled out, Jonathan Carter is expected to come in, while Ramdin is in line to captain.

West Indies (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk/capt), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Jonathan Carter, 8 Carlos Brathwaite, 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Shannon Gabriel

South Africa (probable) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

Pitch and conditions

There will likely be decent bounce and pace from the Kensington Oval wicket, though it can be expected to take some spin later on.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time South Africa failed to reach the final of a triangular series was against Australia and Sri Lanka in 2005-06

  • Marlon Samuels needs 77 runs to pass Gordon Greenidge on the list of West Indies' highest ODI run-makers

Quotes

"We've played quite a few really close series in the past, like this one, where we've had a few must-win games. We enjoy those kind of situations. We like to bring the fight when it matters most. It's a great opportunity for us to prove that we are that kind of team under pressure."
AB de Villiers expects South Africa to rise to the occasion

"The work that the guys have put in over the past five or six weeks has been excellent. For us to be in a competition with No. 1 and No. 3 in the world, and still be in the competition and looking to be in the final in the last game, it's what we spoke about at the start of the tournament."
West Indies coach Phil Simmons is proud his side are still in contention