CHITTAGONG - With back-to-back victories, South Africa have put themselves in contention for a semifinal berth and they will look to seal the berth when they clash with England in their last Group 1 league match of the ICC World T20 here on Saturday.

South Africa had started their campaign on a sour note, losing to Sri Lanka by five runs, but they notched up successive wins against New Zealand and the Netherlands in the next two games to stay in the hunt. England, too, started with a loss against New Zealand, courtesy rain that robbed them of a chance to defend their total of 172/6, but the Stuart Broad-captained side brought its campaign back on track with a six-wicket victory over table-toppers Sri Lanka on Thursday.

For South Africa, the wins looked far from convincing as, on both occasions, they somehow managed to beat New Zealand and the Netherlands by two and six runs respectively. It was Dale Steyn, who scalped four wickets to derail New Zealand's chase in their second match, while last night, it was leg-spinner Imran Tahir's four-wicket haul that rescued them from the Netherlands.

South Africa's batting have not been consistent. JP Duminy have been their best batsman in the tournament but Faf du Plessis and De Villiers have been out of form for quite some time and they will have to show much more responsibility.

England, on the other hand, have to thank Alex Hales, who blasted a 64-ball 116 to help his team chase down Sri Lanka's 189. Eoin Morgan also smashed a 38-ball 57. However, England were sloppy on the field as they dropped four catches and missed a run-out to allow Sri Lanka to reach the imposing total, and Broad will have to ensure they don't make the same mistake tomorrow.

With this history in mind, New Zealand will know that it has to be extremely careful when they take on The Netherlands in Saturday’s first match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. New Zealand have come to the tournament as a settled and dangerous team, its only obvious weakness being the lack of a second quality spinner to back Nathan McCullum up. However, no need has arisen for spin bench strength at Chittagong, with the pitch playing true and the ball skidding along.

New Zealand are stacked with batsmen who can take the game away, and its lower order strength, which includes the dynamic Corey Anderson, is yet to be properly tested. Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, kept his wits about him in a rain-curtailed match against England that gave his team two vital points, and he knows he will have to keep a keen eye on The Netherlands. “The way the Dutch are playing, I think it's incredibly courageous, rocks or diamonds, so to speak,” said Brendon. “They're either going to come off or they're not, and it's why they're a dangerous team to play against. They don't fear the losing side of things or if it doesn't work out, playing that style, so we've prepared well today and we'll see what we come up with tomorrow. Hopefully, if we play well, we should be strong enough for them.”

New Zealand come into the match on the back of a four-day break, a different run from The Netherlands.

 For Borren, the team’s stated ambition from before the Super10s began has not changed, irrespective of the fact that the results have been a mixed bag of losses. “We just really want to get a win or an upset at this tournament,” reiterated Borren. “We had a really good opportunity against South Africa, we've got two more opportunities and I really hope we can take one of those.”



Brendon McCullum (capt), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Nathan McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Ronnie Hira.

Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Tom Heggleman, Ahsan Malik, Vivian Kingma, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten.

England vs South Africa


Stuart Broad (capt), Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Craig Kieswetter, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler (wk), Ravi Bopara, Chris Jordan, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Jade Dernbach, Stephen Parry, Chris Woakes, Luke Wright, Joe Root, Ben Stokes.

Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.