- South Africa’s 2-0 series lead against England has significantly improved the Proteas’ chances of qualifying for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
- The Proteas gained 20 points from their two Mangaung Oval successes, moving them from 59 to 79 points.
- The wins moved SA to ninth place, with three games to come before the league’s cut-off in May.
Sri Lankan cricket fans must have watched on with bated breath when South Africa first pulled Friday’s first ODI against England out of the fire, before slumping into their chairs when the Proteas surgically reeled in their third highest successful ODI chase in the second game on Sunday.
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Before the series started, South Africa had 59 points from their 16 ICC World Cup Super League matches.
After winning Friday’s first ODI by 27 runs and Sunday’s one by five wickets, the Proteas gained a crucial 20 points that moved them to 79 points.
The points gained from the Mangaung Oval successes mean South Africa moved from 11th to ninth place on the log.
ICC Super League standings
That pushed Sri Lanka (77 points) down to 10th place, and with South Africa still having Wednesday’s ODI against England in Kimberley to come, the Islanders face the prospect of being 12 points adrift should SA get another one over Jos Buttler’s charges.
The West Indies are currently in eighth place on 88 points, but having finished their ODI Super League programme, an SA win on Wednesday will relegate them to the World Cup qualifiers for the second consecutive time.
The top eight teams in the Super League qualify automatically for the World Cup that’ll be held in India later this year, with the bottom five joining five teams from League Two (three) and from the Challenger League (two).
Sri Lanka have three ODIs against New Zealand in Auckland (25 March), Christchurch (28 March) and Hamilton (31 March) to try and make up some ground on SA.
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The Proteas, through the fortune of their schedule, have two ODIs against the Netherlands at the Wanderers (31 March) and SuperSport Park (2 April), matches that were rescheduled because of Covid-19, with the same being applicable for SA’s rubber against England.
Should South Africa win their next three ODIs to qualify for the World Cup, it will be a remarkable feat considering their inconsistent form in Super League games, coupled with the fact they sacrificed the Australia ODI series to make Cricket South Africa contracted players available for the SA20.
The Proteas had to forfeit the 30 points that were on offer from that rubber, and with the cut-off of Super League matches being the month of May, there wasn’t space in what is an already cramped international calendar.