West Indies v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Antigua May 23, 2010

West Indies seek to bridge the gap

The Preview by Liam Brickhill

Match Facts

Monday, May 24
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)

The Big Picture

South Africa proved too strong for West Indies once again in the first one-dayer to extend the early success of their tour, with the change in limited-overs format making little difference to the hosts' fortunes. The architects of South Africa's win were Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, both of whom went to centuries and added 129 for the third wicket as the West Indian bowlers failed to make the most of conditions that had plenty to offer the seamers.

"It was a terrific effort," Graeme Smith said after the game. "Hash [Amla] and I got off to a good start and in particular in his partnership with AB - it's always great to see two guys get hundreds and they deserved the hundreds that they got. They played superbly well."

Chris Gayle was understandably disconsolate after yet another patchy effort. But while it is easy to point out where West Indies got things wrong - the failure of their bowlers to land six balls in a row on the spot and the inability of their batsmen to build partnerships - it is less clear just how they can turn things around.

West Indies haven't been helped by injuries to Kemar Roach and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and have called in Dale Richards for the second game. Other than that, they are largely stuck with the squad they have for the moment as other potential replacements for an underperforming batting line-up - such as Devon Smith, Darren Bravo and Brendan Nash - are away on tour with the A side, though it is possible they could be drafted in for the fourth and fifth ODIs. While there is undeniable potential talent in the national squad, and one cannot rule out an improved performance in the second game, it seems more likely that South Africa will maintain the gulf in class between the two sides.

Form guide (only completed matches, most recent first)

South Africa WWLLL
West Indies LWWWW

Watch out for...

David Miller has eased himself into international cricket with minimum fuss - albeit against a bowling attack that is lolling in the doldrums at the moment. His 33 on debut took South Africa to a winning total when they were looking shaky, and his unbeaten 23 in the first ODI also gave his side's scoreline a timely boost. In both games, he came in with overs running out at the end of the innings, but if he is given more time he already appears to have the capacity to make a big score.

For a player who has scored 5,092 runs in limited-overs internationals at an average of more than 44, Ramnaresh Sarwan's performances after his comeback from injury have been disappointing. His captain has made clear his desire for someone in the top order to take the initiative, and after a mediocre start in this series, West Indies desperately need Sarwan back at his stylish best.

Team news

It's unclear what meaningful changes West Indies might be able to make to their side, but they will want Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach back as soon as they have recovered from their injuries. Failing that, they will have to stick to the team that lost the opening game on Saturday, although there seems little point in asking Andre Fletcher to open at the moment and someone from the middle order - Sarwan, perhaps - may need to step up and fill a temporary role.

West Indies (possible): 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 3 Dwayne Bravo, 4 Narsingh Deonarine, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Andre Fletcher, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Nikita Miller, 11 Ravi Rampaul

South Africa struck a winning combination in the first game, and although they have said that now is the time for a fresh outlook in the side, they will more than likely stick to the successful formula.

South Africa (possible): 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Johan Botha, 8 Ryan McLaren, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Lonwabo Tsotsobe

Pitch and conditions

The pitch used in the first ODI looked far improved from the mottled, two-paced wicket in the Twenty20s, although there is still something in it for the bowlers. Taking nothing away from Amla and de Villiers' superb efforts, that South Africa reached 280 was in large part due to inconsistent bowling from West Indies. Unfortunately, there's a good chance that this game may be affected by the weather, with a high probability of showers in the area.

Stats and trivia

  • AB de Villiers has accumulated 486 runs at an average of 121.5 in his last six ODI innings, with his hundred on Saturday his third in consecutive innings, and his fourth in six innings since he reached 121 in the third ODI of England's winter tour

  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, Andre Fletcher's last innings of note was 48 against Canada in April. Since then, he has made just 55 runs in seven international innings, at an average of 9.17.


    "We want to play well, we want to win the series and we want to have a very successful tour of the West Indies."
    So far, Graeme Smith's men have had little trouble achieving their goals.

    "We need someone out of the top five to take the initiative."
    It may be stating the obvious, but Chris Gayle's batsmen should know what is expected of them by now.

    Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPN Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anne on May 24, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Cont'd... Even before one ball is bowled they've already been paid, whether they win or not, so what is their motiviation? It should be for pride, as mentioned before, but sadly it isn't. In the 70s and 80s when the Windies were beating everyone they barely earned a third of the salary they earn now, didn't have all the equipment, training, facilities and sponsorship but their mentality and attitude to the game was different. When Viv Richards was captain, he had no intention of lettiing anyone beat his side, especially England. They had the killer instinct to finish everyone off, again, this is sadly lacking in today's WIndies side. I don't know what the answer is to the WIndies problems of today, but it's certainly not because they come from different islands and can't train together - they all came from different islands in the 70s/80s too! By the way Chairtruck I'm assuming you're very young and have never heard of Sir Garfield Sobers? If not, look him up! WI fan since 70s

  • Anne on May 24, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    If people must post comments on this website PLEASE USE A GOOD STANDARD OF ENGLISH that we all can read and not like risk_love2's illegible sentence. Agree with what most of you say about Fletcher, Ramdin, Pollard and even Chris Gayle to some extent beind dropped as none of them are an assset to the team. Also agree about Baugh, Darren Bravo, Barath and Simmons being brought in forthe shorter version of the game. Chanderpaul has been a long and loyal servant to the West Indies and plays the game for the true reason it should be played - Pride - in playing for and representing the entire region of the West Indies and not for money as the players of today do, and therein lies the problem. Money. The players of today are paid far too much money and delivery very little for it - Pollard is a perfect example of that. I recall the WIndies attending boot camp and training really hard for the Stanford $20m bonanza, which they won against England very easily but since then have won nothing...

  • Anjali on May 24, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    @Chairtruck: Kallis is not only the greatest allrounder ever, he is also the greatest batsman ever to play ODIs.. There is no other batsman closer to him in ODIs.. Great acheivments for a great player, best wishes for him..

  • Paul on May 24, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    Thanks Chairtruck !!! King Kallis all the way - the most solid and level minded cricketer any team could wish for. Brilliant. 300 games, man, I hope he gets a big one.

  • Len on May 24, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    In the article "Bravo hopes to end "rough period", the article contends that Bravo has "responded" with scores of 20, 40 and 15. The fact that Bravo has been regarded as some sort of 'success' with what are hopelessly moderate scores says everything about the mental state of the WIndies team. Again, we had another WIndian player making some pathetic general statements about "putting in an effort in the nets and in preparation" after losing another international match, WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS STATEMENT REALLY MEAN? Bravo should be saying how WIndies need to bowl a certain line and length and push singles and twos when the boundaries when they are not hitting boundaries. Failure to do these things will be the reasons why they are GOING TO LOSE THE SECOND ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL TO SOUTH AFRICA.

  • althaf on May 24, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    I don't understand stand why west indies havn't found any keepar other than ramdin or fletcher . Pollard should bat at 4or 5. Gayle is just wasting him down the order. What happend to travis dowlin who did well for WI in recent past.

  • James on May 24, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    this must be the most illegible piece of transcript i have ever seen in my life...

    Posted by risk_love2 on (May 24 2010, 04:52 AM GMT)

    ya i m agree wid most of u i cnt undrstnd y d fletcher is in d team..i thnk ramdin is good bcoz der is no gd replacement for him..nd ya simmons,2nd brove deserave place in team nd s wl s nash i thnk he is really gd batsman nd he is in gd form

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    South Africa may be leading the series but Graham Smith has made little or no contribution to the side, he continually fails, yet his position in the team seems to be cast in stone. He is vulnerable on anything pitched on or outside the off stump and the only time he gets a FEW runs is on the leg side.Time to step aside and find another player to open with Amla or go back to the nets and learn how to get in line of the ball.

  • Makwena on May 24, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Congratulation for winning RSA. Please do us favour by dropping Dumminy and play either Pieterson/Albie at no. 6 or 7 as specialist finisher or batting powerplayer like we use to see him or let Boucher open the batting with Smith. Stop playing J botha as batting allrounder becos he ain,t like Symmonds/Shane wayne/Vectorri live him as spinner.

  • Keith on May 24, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    It's amazing that no one seems to get it up to this point that Keiron Pollard, the overnight millionaire, is totally useless to this West Indies team in any format of the cricket game. He, along with Ramdin, Fletcher and the omitted Wavell Hinds should not be allowed on any international cricket field unless they're helping the groung staff. Bring back Carlton Baugh, he is a much better keeper and batsman than any of them in the region and may the selectors, who I hope will soon be replaced also, get Marlon Samuels ready for duty as soon as his suspension expires. I hope he kept on playing the game during this unfortunate period of his career.

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