Key semifinal match-ups
With the group stages of the Over-50 Cricket World Cup concluded, we now look ahead to two mouthwatering semifinals on Friday.
New Zealand topped Group A to set up a clash with the hosts, while England survived a major scare to top Group B and will now face World Cup rookies the USA.
Here are some key match-ups which could decide the outcome of the games …
New Zealand vs South Africa
The two sides clash at Western Province Cricket Club where, bizarrely, neither team has played a match during this tournament. South Africa, of course, have many players very familiar with the venue and its nuances …
Andrew Hore vs Alan Dawson
Hore set the scene with a classy 114 in the first match against Zimbabwe, but has been frustratingly inconsistent since then. His 60 against fellow semifinalists the USA earlier in the week again showed what he’s capable of and he will test South Africa’s fearsome opening duo of James Albanie and Alan Dawson. 'Dawsie' has again been sensational. Louis Koen calls him the ‘poster boy of Veterans Cricket’, and he’s the go-to man whenever the chips are down. He only has nine wickets so far, but has arguably beaten the bat more than any other bowler.
Dean Askew vs Brandon Nash
Askew took three wickets in the opener against Zimbabwe, and then missed the next three games before returning with another five against USA and Canada. The Kiwis will count on him to make an early breakthrough but in Nash, the Proteas have a batsman who is well versed in mixing patience with aggression. Despite missing two matches with bronchitis, he finished as the fifth highest run-scorer in the group stages and if he can bat for any length of time, the hosts will set a very solid total.
England vs USA
Among the pre-tournament favourites, England were two wickets away from being eliminated before some lower-order heroics against South Africa in Franschhoek. Among the most experienced players in Veterans Cricket, they will face novices who have proved everyone wrong and are looking for another upset at Claremont Cricket Club.
Naseer Ahmed vs Himanshu Patadia
Ahmed ‘only’ has a highest score of 72 at the tournament, but it’s his consistency which makes him such a valuable asset for England. He has scored 264 runs at an average of 66 - and at near enough a 100 strike-rate. And he’ll need to be at his best against Patadia, who is leading the wicket-taking stakes with 12 at an average of under 13 and a run-rate of just 3.4. In a team that is not flush with runs, he will again be the key man.
Richard Cooper vs Humayun Bashir
Like Dawson, Cooper is a victim of his own abilities - oftentimes he is just too good to get an edge. The lanky right-arm swing bowler has just the seven wickets for the tournament, but they are often the big names up-front - and at just three runs per over. He’ll back his chances against a USA side who have crossed the 200-run mark just once during the World Cup. Bashir is one of the players the Americans rely on to score runs - he is their second highest scorer with 103 at an average of 25.5 - but he is also more than handy with the ball - nine wickets at an average of under 15. It’s not quite Jacques Kallis’ stats, but for the USA he is as star power as they get!
About Evergreen Lifestyle
The 2023 Over-50s Cricket World Cup will once again be sponsored by Evergreen Lifestyle, South Africa’s premium retirement brand with seven operating villages in the Western Cape and Gauteng, and a further six in the pipeline. The business began with a vision to change the retirement landscape in South Africa, offering a partnership for life based on five key pillars: physical security, financial peace of mind, continuous care, a sense of community and exceptional hospitality.
You’ll find Evergreen’s award-winning retirement villages in the most beautiful parts of the country, at the end of sun dappled country lanes, perched on majestic mountain slopes, and within walking distance of our beaches, rivers, and wetlands. And you’ll find vibrant fun-loving communities enjoying the finer things in life – like good food, great company, lasting friendships, and a sense of belonging that is enabled by the resort-style facilities and amenities on offer.