Sunday 21 July 2019

Coach Gibson set to go as dire South Africa crash out of World Cup

'Former England bowling coach Gibson’s contract expires after this tournament and is unlikely to be renewed.' Photo: Stock Image
'Former England bowling coach Gibson’s contract expires after this tournament and is unlikely to be renewed.' Photo: Stock Image

Gerard Hughes

South Africa's hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals are over as their nightmare tournament continued with a 49-run defeat to Pakistan at Lord's.

The Proteas have failed to pass the group stages for just the second time and face two dead rubbers over the next two weeks. South Africa failed to reach the knockout rounds as hosts in 2003, but still won three of their six encounters.

Head coach Ottis Gibson's men have only beaten minnows Afghanistan at this tournament, and still have to face Sri Lanka and Australia. Even three wins in nine matches would not gloss over a woeful campaign, but given the Proteas' dire form the chance of consolation victories appears remote.

Former England bowling coach Gibson's contract expires after this tournament and is unlikely to be renewed. Faf Du Plessis may well relinquish the captaincy too.

Du Plessis hit 64 as South Africa managed just 259 for nine, failing to reach the 309 required for victory.

Today, Afghanistan return to action when they face Bangladesh after they fell an agonising 11 runs short of defeating India on Saturday.

Mohammed Shami bagged a final-over hat-trick and Jasprit Bumrah plundered two crucial wickets as the pace attack dug India out of jail. Jadhav hit 52 and captain Virat Kohli 67 as India mustered a miserly 224 for eight from their full 50 overs, only for Afghanistan to fall just shy of achieving a famous upset.

Victory for Bangladesh, however, would lift them to fifth in the table with two games remaining and maintain their semi-final chances.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Carlos Brathwaite admitted his maiden international hundred was a "bittersweet" feeling after falling agonisingly short of leading the West Indies to an against-all-odds World Cup victory.

The Windies slumped to 164 for seven against New Zealand in pursuit of a target of 292 at Old Trafford, but that merely set the stage for Brathwaite, who bludgeoned nine fours and five sixes in a staggering 80-ball hundred.

However, with six needed for victory, Brathwaite swung mightily again, only to hole out to long-on, where Trent Boult held on to the catch and avoided stepping over the boundary as the Kiwis escaped with a five-run win.

Following his supreme 101, Brathwaite said: "Everyone believed that we could get over the line. It's obviously bittersweet. I know it's probably a cliche to say the hundred doesn't matter if you don't win."

Irish Independent

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