The fourth match of the intriguing T20 series between West Indies and South Africa will be played out on Thursday with the ground in Grenada once again hosting these two sides in a match where South Africa can claim the series with a match to spare.
South Africa have come from 1-0 down to move 2-1 up and a win here will see them go 3-1 ahead with one to play. West Indies need to find a win in order to take the series to a deciding match on Saturday.
I’m not convinced West Indies are completely concerned about the series outcome and that is totally fine when the bigger picture is their World T20 title defence in a few months. They have kept the same players for the first three matches in the main but have rotated their positions in the side and now it looks like they are going to have a look at just what depth they have, something they wouldn’t bother with if they were all out to win the series.
The surprising thing in this series so far is that West Indies haven’t truly fired with the bat since that opening match. The concern within their ranks might be that they played on the best pitch of the three in that match and as the square has tired their power batting hasn’t been able to come to the party. The World Cup will be played on some tired pitches so they need to find a way to be effective in those conditions. Their bowling has gone well in all three matches which is a positive.
When they were comprehensively drubbed in the opening game of the series, this looked like another series where South Africa may not offer anything up and extend their run of series without a win. Things have turned around remarkably since then though and they deserve a lot of credit for that. There are still issues that need to be resolved within this South Africa side but if they can win a series while they are sorting them through that would be pretty huge for them, not least as it is against the defending World T20 champions.
They still have plenty of time to get their combinations right for the World T20 so they might just focus on the confidence a series win would give them here which means that they may well keep with their light looking batting unit. The one thing the last two matches have shown them is that if their batsmen can put up even a par score their bowlers can do the rest. Over time that should give their batters the confidence to express themselves more.
Open up a BetVictor account and bet £5 to get £30 in bonuses! Click the image below for this standout new account offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Responsibly
West Indies are making changes for this match with Jason Holder having been sat down to manage his workload in this period. Kevin Sinclair has also been rested so Chris Gayle and Akeal Hosein are likely to come back into the side.
South Africa are expected to go in with the same side which won the third game. It might be that they wait until they get to Ireland before they look to bring their seaming all-rounders into the side where they might be more useful.
The boundary count in this series has been dropping by the match. I don’t think we should be surprised at that because the first three matches were played over four days all on the same square. This match will be a fourth match in six days and so there is just no respite for the pitches which means the life is likely to get sucked out of them bit by bit, making hitting the ball hard much more difficult and also offering themselves to the mercy of clever bowlers.
The boundary totals so far in this series have been 41, 35 and 31 so are clearly lessening as we go along. Some of that is the pitches but most of it is the bowlers getting to grips with conditions, particularly the South Africa ones who were pretty naïve and ordinary in that opening game. Despite conditions not being conducive to clean hitting the boundaries line here is 40.5 which looks high to me. Both sides are starting to get more slower bowlers into their side so scoring is going to get harder. I’ll play the under here.
Back Under 40.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
Back it here: