South Africa are still searching for their first win of the tournament after facing three losses, while Windies come into the clash on the back of a defeat to defending champions Australia.
There is little to choose from between the two sides and the final outcome of the match could well be dependent on several sub-plots. Here, we look at the three key duels which could shape Monday’s clash at Southampton:
THOMAS V AMLA
One Windies player who has caught the eye in their brief campaign so far is pacer Oshane Thomas who has proved to be a menace with the new ball.
The 22-year-old has cranked up the pace in this World Cup with his excellent displays earning him six wickets in two matches. Thomas can be a bit wayward at times but he is also capable of the utterly sublime as seen by his dismissal of opener Aaron Finch in the loss to Australia.
The young pacer will be looking to provide a similar fast start against South Africa and will be aiming for the scalp of veteran opener Hashim Amla. The 36-year-old has not had the best of World Cups so far with just 19 runs in two innings and he has only recently recovered from a blow to the head he sustained in the tournament opener against England.
With South Africa under massive pressure, there is even greater onus on Amla to fire at the top but he will first need to quell the challenge of Thomas. The right-hander did score an unbeaten half-century against the same opposition in the warm-ups and will look to draw confidence from that innings.
TAHIR V RUSSELL
Another intriguing duel lies in store in the middle overs where Windies star all-rounder Andre Russell could potentially be up against South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Russell has been earmarked as one of the biggest Windies threat in the World Cup following his sensational showings in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and the muscular all-rounder has looked brilliant with the ball in hand.
While his bowling has seen him fetch four wickets in two games, the right-hander has failed to come to the party with the bat so far. His manner of dismissal against Mitchell Starc of Australia was a dismal one and cost his team dearly in the end.
He will be itching to make amends for that display against the Proteas, but will need to deal with the guile and variations of veteran leg-spinner Tahir.
The 40-year-old South African went wicket-less against India in his most recent outing but he did pick up four scalps in his side’s two previous clashes. He is among the most prolific wrist-spinners in business currently and his lethal accuracy could be a handy weapon against an aggressive Russell.
RABADA V GAYLE
The biggest battle on Monday will undoubtedly be the one between Chris Gayle and Kagiso Rabada with the new ball.
The veteran Windies opener is one of the modern-day ODI greats with over 10,000 and 25 centuries in the format. Young Rabada, on the other hand, is playing in his first World Cup but has already established himself as one of the top pacers across all formats.
‘Universe Boss’ Gayle started off his final World Cup campaign with a brisk fifty against Pakistan and was looking good before being dismissed in a brief cameo against Australia. The Jamaican will be keen to play a much bigger innings against the South Africans but has his task cut out against a charged up Rabada.
The 24-year-old was one of the rare bright spots for the Proteas in their defeat to India and bowled a fiery spell with the new-ball while claiming two wickets. He express pace and accuracy should give 39-year-old Gayle plenty of troubles and the veteran will need to be on the top of his game if he is to prevail in this duel.
Know more about Sport360 Application