After the trans-Tasman and the big Asian derby, the 2022 T20 World Cup will witness the battle for Southern African bragging rights as Zimbabwe take on the Proteas in the Super 12. South Africa haven’t lost to their neighbors in their five T20I meetings, but the underdogs have tasted success against their more fancied rivals in the 50-over World Cup in 1999.
Where will the match be decided?
Sikandar Raza against South Africa’s pacers
Zimbabwe’s highest T20I run-scorer this year (652 runs in 18 innings) is second on the charts at the T20 World Cup so far with 136 runs in three outings at a strike rate of 172.15. Raza has found it tough to tackle pace more than spin, falling 14 out of 24 times to them since 2021. Facing the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen would be a challenge for the middle-order mainstay.
Blessing Muzarabani vs South African openers
With six wickets in three matches, Blessing Muzarabani led the Zimbabwe bowling attack in Round 1. Three of his wickets came in the Powerplay. With a deep batting line-up to bowl to, Zimbabwe would need their most successful bowler to get early wickets. South African skipper Temba Bavuma, who has scored only 64 runs in seven T20Is this year, can be a likely target.
Miller against Spin
Since 2021, David Miller has blasted 663 T20I runs for South Africa at a strike rate of 163.36 (186.18 this year). Only twice has he fallen to a spinner during this period. During the recent Indian Premier League-winning campaign with Gujarat Titans as well, Miller had a higher strike rate against spinners compared to pacers. Raza, who has also been the leading wicket-taker for Zimbabwe in T20Is this year, will have his task cut out to prevent Miller from targeting his right-arm off-spin in the middle overs.
Zimbabwe, who have played all three of their games at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart so far, have cleared the rope 11 times. South Africa, on the other hand, played their last three T20Is in India and whacked a total of 32 sixes during the series.
Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe have won 11 of the last 19 T20Is they have played, including two in Round 1. South Africa: Since last year’s T20 World Cup, South Africa have won 7 of their 13 T20Is.