Sammy eyes WT20 semi-final berth against South Africa

West Indies can book their World Twenty20 semi-final place with victory over South Africa in Nagpur.

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Darren Sammy hopes to take another step towards the World Twenty20 title on Friday when the unbeaten West Indies face South Africa.

The 2012 champions have two wins out of two so far after beating England and Sri Lanka in Group 1, meaning they can qualify for the semi-finals with victory in Nagpur.

Sammy hopes to have Chris Gayle back at the top of the order after a hamstring twinge saw him miss out against Sri Lanka, but his presence is not the be-all and end-all for the West Indies skipper.

"Chris is our biggest player, but he has no pressure on him to perform," he told a news conference.

"Obviously we would want him to lead from the front in this tournament, but we as a group, we know what we have and as [Andre] Fletcher showed, he could win matches.

"We have six steps to the cup, we have taken two, tomorrow is one more step towards our goal and that step is South Africa."

The Proteas recovered from their opening defeat to England with victory over Afghanistan, but they were far from convincing and will need to find another gear to test the in-form Windies.

 

WINDIES READY FOR DE VILLIERS THREAT

On his day, AB de Villiers has shown he can be one of the most destructive batsmen in the shortest form of the game, but Sammy is confident they can keep the 32-year-old quiet.

"Every innings starts fresh, so we have our plans for him [De Villiers] and also have very dangerous guys in our team," said Sammy.

 

PHANGISO SET TO PLAY WITH DUMINY SIDELINED

South Africa will be without JP Duminy for the clash, the all-rounder having suffered a hamstring injury while fielding against Afghanistan – Aaron Phangiso is expected to replace him.

 

DU PLESSIS - BOWLERS NEED TO FIRE

In their opening two matches, South Africa have conceded runs at an alarming rate in the field – England taking 56 off their first three overs and Afghanistan scoring 47 – something captain Faf du Plessis knows needs to change.

He said: "Our skill levels are just letting us down a little bit in the first three or four overs. I think we are a little bit soft in those areas. We need to be a lot better."

 

OPTA STATS

- This will be the third World Twenty20 meeting between these two teams with South Africa winning both previous encounters (2007, 2009).

- When batting first South Africa have posted a score of 200+ in three of the their last four T20 international fixtures, they'd managed it just five times in 46 instances of batting first prior to this run.

- Dwayne Bravo (993) and Marlon Samuels (992) are in a race with each other to become the second player to reach 1,000 T20 international runs for West Indies after Gayle.

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