Proteas ill ahead of Zimbabwe clashSeptember 19, 2012, 12:00 pm
Rex Clementine reporting
In a bid to win their first ICC tournament in several years, South Africa arrived in Sri Lanka with momentum behind them, but quite a few of their players are down with diarrhea lead up to their first tournament match today against Zimbabwe here at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium.
The Proteas flew by a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter yesterday morning to Hambantota and while several players have recovered, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and captain A. B. de Villiers didn’t train when the Proteas held a training session yesterday afternoon.
"We’ve had a few guys who had gone down with viral infection but hopefully all 15 will be available for selection tomorrow," South African team Manager Dr. Mohammad Moosajee told journalists during a media briefing yesterday.
With a solid bowling outfit, Richard Levi, who won the ICC T-20 Performance of the Year award at the annual ICC Awards Night on Saturday and probably the best fielding unit in the competition, the South Africans are one of the pre-tournament favourites.
"A lot of people have said that there are few favourites. Suddenly we take confidence that we have played good cricket over the last year or so, but it’s too early to tell that who the favorites are. There are lots of good teams in this tournament. We are just concentrating on our game tomorrow (today) and as the tournament progresses, it will become clearer who is going to take the charge," Hashim Amla, South Africa’s star batsman told journalists.
Although they have never played here before, South Africa took a close look at Tuesday’s Sri Lanka versus Zimbabwe clash to get a fair idea on what to expect.
"Obviously it gave us a better idea of how they are playing. I think more importantly for us, it was how the wicket reacted and the kind of scores you are looking at this ground, and also the size of the field. I think that was more important to us than what happened in the game."
Zimbabwe, who suffered an 82-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka, believe knowing what the South Africans have got to offer will help their case.
"We’re more familiar with the South African set-up and we know what they’re all about. They are a quality team. We do rely heavily on our top four so we need them to fire, and also for some of the others to kick on so that we can chase down totals and post big ones," Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said.
South Africa (From):
A.B. de Villiers (Capt. and wk), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, Jean Paul Duminy, Francois du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Brendan Taylor (Capt. and wk), Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Forster Mutizwa, Richard Muzhange, Ray Price, Vusi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori and Malcolm Waller.
Umpires: Steve Davis (Aus) and Richard Kettleborough (Eng)
Third umpire: Ian Gould (Eng)
Match Referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ).
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Last Updated May 20 2013 | 06:12 pm