In the lead up to the ICC World Cup qualifier in Nelson, South Africa made news on Monday when their fast bowler Kagiso Rabada lit up the scoreboard with a 6 for 36 in nine wicket win over Hong Kong. He did make an appearance to replace Morne Morkel as skipper, but when Rabada went back to the pavilion the crowd went wild when star batsman AB de Villiers raised a bat salute.
De Villiers, like most South Africans had reacted to “The Flag” demonstration by the group Generation next in New Zealand last week.
The Proteas began the qualifiers in excellent form, winning all their qualifiers. They will resume play against the Sri Lankans on Wednesday. Sri Lanka needed a three wicket win over Scotland at Buckingham Palace in London, or 11 wickets would have been needed to qualify. But in a game that was suspended after 2.5 overs due to bad light, Sri Lanka won the contest by 4 wickets and qualified for the main tournament in New Zealand by beating the Scots.
In the other game that was tardy due to the wet and cold weather, the Indian will take on the UAE while the Rest of the World plays against Australia in the 4th qualifier. And for the first time, a host nation, Australia, is coming to the game rather than playing as one of its underdogs. Australia have qualified as of the last day, while the ICC has said they will be called “Fielding” Australia in Nelson.
Australia, who have accumulated 5 points out of 6 with a first round win over the United Arab Emirates and an extra win over Zimbabwe, will be based at the Sunscreen Oval, a venue that will be used for the final. They qualified as No. 4 after tying a series against the WACA in Perth in February. The hosts have yet to announce where they will base their elite side, but once again those matches are scheduled for grass with the Nelspruit course being used as the venue for the final and the second game.
China beat a well-organized Canada by 19 runs to secure the last 4th spot. China will be based at Sam House in Bloemfontein, South Africa with Canada heading to Guildford in Surrey.
Canada had to advance on superior net run-rate with the two largest countries due to the number of qualified teams with a quota of 12 – 5-3.
Canada, who are in their third straight match at the qualifiers, have grabbed 22 points from 5 matches, which is the fourth highest on the list behind India, Zimbabwe and Australia, whose time off is not wasted with promotion, and will be based at Guildford, Surrey. China have the following situation: group only with a 27 net run-rate. So they will be based at Colombo and India at the Sunscreen Oval.
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka at Nelson RSA – 3rd Qualifier, Perth Vettel – 20 August Asia v. South Africa, Hong Kong – 16 August Rest of the World v. Australia – 18 August
US v. UAE at Canterbury WCL – 15 August UK – 4th Qualifier South Africa vs. Sri Lanka, WCL, Edinburgh SA – 9 September US v. UAE at Sandy Lane NZ – 10 September
Chinese v. Australia, WCL, Bath A/A – 12 September
Asian v. Sri Lanka, WCL, Carson CA – 13 September
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