Credible Caribbean T20 record could propel Proteas to first-ever final

Former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Mangaliso Mosehle.
GOOD OMEN: Former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Mangaliso Mosehle.

Former Proteas wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle believes that the back end of the T20 World Cup matches being in the West Indies, where SA have a good track record, could benefit the Proteas in their quest to reach their first World Cup final.

Caribbean and SA grounds have something in common — they produce arguably the best traditional T20 pitches, which are evenly balanced for teams and offer something in batting and bowling.

According to Mosehle, this might make the going slightly easier for the Proteas going deeper into the competition, as the pitches are not one-dimensional as the US surfaces were in the group stages.

Mosehle’s forecasting was evident in the Proteas first Super Eight game of the 2024 edition at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday where they had an 18-run victory over the US. 

The Antigua pitch enabled the Proteas top order to soothe their souls and forget about the nightmares of New York.

The Proteas passed 150 for the first time in the tournament, posting 194.

Quinton de Kock (74) and Aiden Markram (46) finally produced the goods with the bat while Kagiso Rabada came to the party with three wickets after struggling in the US.

The win ensured that SA maintained their 100% record on the ground in T20s after their two previous wins over the West Indies in May 2010.

With history in their favour, Rob Walters’ men will have a certain amount of confidence when they meet the home nation in their last Super Eight game on Monday (2am) in Antigua.

But before that will be England at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia, on Friday.

The Proteas have only played one T20 game at this stadium, against Pakistan, which they lost by the barest of margins, also in 2010.

St Lucia is perhaps the most batting-friendly wicket of the competition, with the venue playing out high-scoring fixtures recently.

Matches played so far have produced first innings scores of 180, 201, 218 and 180.

The same trend was witnessed during the last edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), so the SA batsmen will be keen to fill their boots when they arrive there.

“We are yet to play our best game in the competition,” Queens College first cricket team head coach Mosehle said.

“The West Indies and England will be tough, but I feel we still have the two best games we are to play in the Super Eight and also in the knockout stage.

“The scores in the West Indies are high compared to the US where the best score was 130, meaning batting conditions were tough.

“That is why we were not critical when watching. There are going to be good pitches in the Super Eight and the playoffs.

“We are steadily getting there after sneaking in some close wins. It shows we have character.”



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