Slim chance

Windies, Proteas face off in decider

West Indies captain Jason Holder will undergo assessment Friday morning to determine his fitness to play in the do-or-die contest against South Africa at Kensington Oval.

The 24-year-old fast bowler sent down only two overs in Tuesday’s six-wicket loss to Australia before he was forced from the field with a left-hamstring strain.

West Indies hoping Jason Holder (right) will be available for tomorrow's game.
West Indies hoping Jason Holder (right) will be available for tomorrow’s game.

Holder was expected to undergo scans on the injury Wednesday and has been receiving treatment.

He has had an average series to date, scoring 31 runs from five innings and taking five wickets, but remains a key cog in the side with his all-round ability.

If he is unfit, his absence will be a huge blow to West Indies as they need to beat the Proteas in order to secure their place in Sunday’s final against Australia. Chances for West indies making the final appear slim as they will need to get bonus points from the game and their play in the Tri-Nations series has been far from inspiring.

They sit bottom of the three-team standings on eight points, four adrift of the second-placed South Africa. The Aussies are top on 15 points after chasing down 283 on Tuesday to beat West Indies, with eight balls to spare at Kensington Oval.

Meanwhile South Africa bowling coach Charl Langeveldt said his side was relaxed ahead of the game.

The tourists have been out of action ever since their game against World champions Australia last Sunday was ruined by rain and finished in a no-result.

However, Langeveldt said the downtime had been crucial to their recovery and had allowed them to refocus for the upcoming contest.

“The mood has been great. The two days off have given us a breather,” Langeveldt explained.

“Conditions are warm here so if you practise every day you will get dehydrated and your energy will be low. Our big thing is to keep the energy levels high and to manage the players well.”

He added: “From a bowling point of view we are confident as an attack, especially the seamers. We have had the odd blip with the no-balls but that’s cricket, you are going to get that. The wides and no-balls have been a big improvement from the T20 World Cup where we were sloppy.”

Langeveldt has special memories of Kensington Oval, taking a hattrick in the final over as part of a five-wicket haul, to help South Africa to a dramatic one-run victory over West Indies in an ODI back in 2005.

Source: (CMC)

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