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  25 Nov 2021, 09:47

Below-strength South Africa seek breathing room from one-day series

 CENTURION, South Africa, Nov 25, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - A below-strength South
African team will be seeking a clean sweep when they play the Netherlands in
a three-match one-day international series starting at SuperSport Park on
Friday.

  The series forms part of the International Cricket Council's World Cup
Super League which is a qualifying tournament for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

  Hosts India and the best-placed seven other teams will qualify
automatically for the World Cup, with the remaining five teams in the Super
League having to play in a ten-team qualifying tournament to fill the other
two places in India.

  Although the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an imbalance in the number of
fixtures played in the league, South Africa are currently in ninth place,
outside the automatic qualifying places.

  Victory against the Netherlands and in a home series against Bangladesh in
March will give the Proteas some breathing space in their qualifying bid,
with potentially difficult series against India, Australia and England to
come.

  South Africa have taken a minor gamble by resting six key players,
including regular white-ball captain Temba Bavuma, ahead of a Test series
against India next month.

  They were further weakened on Wednesday when Cricket South Africa announced
that fast bowler Lungi Ngidi had been withdrawn from the squad after testing
positive for Covid while fellow paceman Lizaad Williams was injured.

  South Africa should still be too strong for a Netherlands team that failed
to win a match and were eliminated after the first round of the recent T20
World Cup.

  The hosts will nevertheless be wary of the underdogs, who beat Ireland 2-1
in June in the only series they have played in the league. A month later
South Africa could only share the honours against Ireland, suffering an upset
defeat in one match with another game being rained off.

  The Netherlands team includes five South African-born players, including
veteran left-arm spinning all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe, 36, who played in
13 one-day internationals and 13 T20 internationals for South Africa between
2009 and 2011.

  Squads:

  South Africa: Keshav Maharaj (capt), Junior Dala, Daryn Dupavillon, Zubayr
Hamza, Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Wayne
Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz
Shamsi, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Khaya Zondo.

  Netherlands: Pieter Seelaar (capt), Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Scott
Edwards (wkt), Clayton Floyd, Brandon Glover, Boris Gorlee, Viv Kingma, Fred
Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Musa Nadeem, Max O'Dowd, Timm van der Gugten,
Roelof van der Merwe, Saqib Zulfiqar.

  Fixtures:

  November 26, Centurion

  November 28, Centurion

  December 1, Johannesburg

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