Cricket World Cup: South Africa look to shelter from Gayleforce

Cricket World Cup: South Africa look to shelter from Gayleforce

If South Africa want to keep their World Cup dream alive, they will need to find a way to stop Chris Gayle

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West Indies batsman Chris Gayle brings the "Gayleforce" to his team.
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle brings the "Gayleforce" to his team.
Photo: AP

South Africa will have to find a way to stop Chris Gayle if they have any chance of winning against the West Indies in Sydney on Friday.

“Gayleforce” became the first person to score a double century in at a World Cup when he hit 215 off 147 balls as his team comfortably beat Zimbabwe on Tuesday. His innings also included a record-equalling 16 sixes.

But things have not been so rosy for South Africa. They were outplayed by India, losing by 130 runs in Melbourne last Sunday. That left the team with just two points after two games and trailing India, the West Indies and Ireland in Pool B.

The South Africans cannot afford to lose to the West Indies as they would then have to beat Ireland, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to ensure they finish near the top of their pool. 

“It’s a big game for us and it’s a must win for us in Sydney,” said captain AB de Villiers. “We’ll come with a bit of energy again. The way I know this team, we always bounce back.

“We’ve got a never-say-die attitude, and this tournament is not over for us.” 

But Gayle says the West Indies will be looking to post their fourth total above 300 in Friday’s game.

So far the West Indies have scored lots of runs in all their matches, hitting 304 against Ireland, 310 against Pakistan and 372 against Zimbabwe.

“Yeah, that’s a good positive for us, getting 300 runs. It’s been fantastic, it’s a plus for our batting to be able to get 300 runs in three consecutive games,” said Gayle.

“So hopefully we can actually go four for four and post a good total. It’s going to be a good test. It’s a World Cup event now, so we’re all on neutral ground, so we’ve got to make our best performance speak for ourselves.”

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