West Indies v South Africa, 1st T20, Antigua May 18, 2010

After the Lord Mayor's show


Match Facts

Wednesday, May 19, Antigua
Start time 1400 (1800 GMT)

The Big Picture

The World Twenty20 has been and gone, and while the tournament itself was an undoubted success, for the two teams who line up in Antigua on Wednesday, it was another anticlimactic affair. West Indies believed that home advantage could help propel them to their first piece of ICC silverware since 2004; South Africa believed that their experienced outfit could quash that lingering suspicion that they crumble when the pressure is at its most intense.

Alas, both teams were dumped out of the tournament in the Super Eights, and the recriminations for the South Africans have been particularly long and loud. Despite boasting two of the most fearsome pace bowlers in the tournament in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, not to mention the canny Charl Langeveldt, it was their batsmen who struggled to lay the necessary foundations for victory.

Stalwarts such as Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Mark Boucher and even the inspirational Graeme Smith were made to look old by livelier and hungrier opponents - not least the eventual champions, England - and with recriminations underway at the selectorial level, the coming weeks could well be a last hurrah for many members of South Africa's limited-overs set-up.

Form guide (most recent first)

South Africa LLWWL
West Indies LWLWW

Watch out for...

Kieron Pollard promised much but delivered little in the World Twenty20. In consecutive innings, he mustered scores of 8, 0, 9, 17 and 13, and without his incendiary lower-middle-order blazing, West Indies struggled to post the sort of indomitable scores that could have rescued their campaign.

AB de Villiers will be donning the wicket-keeping gloves in place of Mark Boucher and his agility and skill behind the wickets will be tested. He was South Africa's top run-getter in the World Twenty20, and it remains to be seen how he copes with the added responsibility.

Team news

Wavell Hinds, who managed just five runs in his two matches in the World Twenty20, has been omitted from the West Indies squad. Andre Fletcher, who has fond memories of Antigua following his role in the Stanford 20/20 for 20, could slot back into the line-up.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Kieron Pollard, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Andre Fletcher, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Kemar Roach.

South Africa have announced that AB de Villiers will keep wicket for the T20 games at least, as part of their plans for the World Cup, and have axed the experienced Boucher. Coach Corrie van Zyl had said in the aftermath of his team's exit from the World Twenty20 that some "hard calls" may have to be made, and dropping Boucher is the first among them.

With Wayne Parnell still absent through injury, South Africa's selectors have taken the opportunity to draft in an extra batsman, the 20-year-old Dolphins left-hander, David Miller. With a 60-ball 115 for South Africa A during their recent match against Bangladesh A in Mirpur, he's got sufficient form to justify an exploratory debut - possibly at the expense of Herschelle Gibbs.

South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Loots Bosman, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Roelof van der Merwe, 11 Charl Langeveldt

Pitch and conditions

It's a significant day for cricket in Antigua, as the sport returns to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North South, the scene of the farcical abandoned Test during England's tour last year. The sandy surface has been stripped bare and relaid, and has been passed fit for use by the ICC. We shall see what transpires ...

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies and South Africa have met on four previous occasions in Twenty20 cricket. South Africa have had the better of those meetings, with three wins to one, including a 20-run triumph in the last World Twenty20 in England.

  • Chris Gayle became the first man to score a Twenty20 international century when the teams first met in this format, during the 2007 World Twenty20. It wasn't enough to carry his team to victory, however.


    "The guys stayed in their rooms for about a day trying to deal with the situation. Corrie van Zyl called us in individually and harsh words were spoken."
    Albie Morkel admits that South Africa underperformed during the World Twenty20.

    Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sabeeh on May 19, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    I don't understand why Boucher & Gibbs are still selected by the selectors? Their career is over,they are finished & are of no good. Selectors must give youngsters a chance. Smith is a good captain there's no doubt in it. Kallis is good for all formats of the game.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    its amassive test for both teams especially as south africa kook to get the right batting combinations.

  • Deon on May 19, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    @ Saikat_bd - You obviously have a keen cricketing brain and a firm grasp of the English language. Thank you for sharing your brilliants ideas with the rest of us.

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    This tour is their last chance with me - they fail and my TV stays off next season - I do not want to see a single Dil-scoop from AB, a no-ball from Morné Morkel and a last-gasp-for-breath-after-running-a-single from the captain. Just go out there and wack it - t20 is not about averages/stats - it's not about safety - there are no draws - not even TIES...you don't smack it - you lose...and bowlers please, you only have 24 balls to concentrate on - put your foot down before the stupid line and at least aim it in the right place - 4 wides and no-balls - really, really...

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Like the pitch they're playing on, South Africa have to 'relay' their batting order especially opening.

  • Prabhakaran on May 19, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    I think it would be a well contested series... I would love to see Pollard smacking Steyn for sixes...!!!

  • Jackie on May 19, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    saikat_bd mate....you are obviously very disappointed in our WC performance but you cant just drop the whole team....Kallis and DeVilliers were our most consistent performers so you can't touch either of them..Duminy played good knocks here and there and so did Smith (even though I agree about the doubt in captaincy I feel Smith has always been the most consistent in these tourneys...give the guy a break...). Gibbs and Boucher must go (ito 20/20 at least) but I hope SA has learnt from their mistakes by leaving out players such as Hashim Amla,Alviro Petersen and Ryan MacLaren. Yes, Miller is good enough but where is he going to fit in the ODIs if he performs now? And why the hell play guys like bosman and kleinveldt and vd merwe who are useless players that do not belong in international cricket....?

  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    To MayankAgarwal: Could you please post once more - this time in English? Thank you.

  • Mayank on May 19, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    I remembr the frst time these two teams met...in T-20 WC '07...wht a game of cricket tht ws!!bt as of nw bth the teams r in horribl form,,being knocked out of WC in super Eights...ths time WI wnt rely much on home advntage,,nd SA wll like to get back on wnng track again frm here only...Plyrs to look fr-- WI--Pollard,,Gayle,,Sammy SA--Kallis,,Steyn,,Bosman.. fr sure lt wll b a gd game!!

  • Johan on May 19, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    Both teams has a lot to prove to their supporters, it should be an interesting series. As a South African I am duty bound to support the Proteas, but they make that very difficult with the way they play at times.... PLEASE if ABdeV plays that stupid scoop shot again, ban him from Cricket for LIVE! If the plan still is to bat around JK, then the other guys need to get a move on, in the first 6 overs, that is were we loose the plot every time! Good luck and enjoy the encounter....

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