South Africa aim for whitewash as West Indies search for solace

© Cricket West Indies

Is consistency always good? It is, when a player picks wickets and/or scores runs regularly. It is, indeed, when a team wins matches consistently. But West Indies are going through a phase of consistency that they would be proud of – that of regular batting failures. South Africa have been the exact opposite.

Scores of 153, 120 and 157 batting first and then another 150 chasing 186 do not inspire confidence. Yes, the hosts didn’t have Stafanie Taylor for the series, but the likes of Hayley Matthews, Kycia Knight etc are yet to step up. Runs have been as hard to come by for Matthews as it is to find an oasis in a desert. The right-hand opener has scored only 23 runs in the four matches so far.

Deandra Dottin, the other mainstay in West Indies batting, has 132 runs in the series so far, including 71 in the third ODI. That she has also been bowling regularly should be a big tick for the hosts with respect to the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in November.

Anisa Mohammed, the captain, and Qiana Joseph, the left-arm spinner, have three wickets apiece so far, though Joseph played a game less. Lack of wickets at the top by the seamers have had a role to play, too. Will the narrative change for West Indies in the final match?

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As an antithesis, South Africa’s tag-team effort has helped them be on the door-step of a clean sweep. The fourth ODI just proved that the Proteas batting is not just about the top order. They were reduced to four for 88 and then five for 115 but Mignon du Preez ensured that the tourists post a total, that seemed more than what it was, thanks to the batting failure of the hosts.

Dane van Niekerk has shone with the ball for the tourists with seven wickets while Ayabonga Khaka, Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail have ensured that they provide early breakthroughs at the start.

The Proteas have a good chance of registered yet another whitewash in ODIs, that would be their third in four series. Their only loss in ODIs from 2020 came against India in the final match. Will they end the tour on a high?

Squads

West Indies: Anisa Mohammed (c), Deandra Dottin (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tazmin Brits, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas