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Thu Apr 24 23:42:33 SAST 2014

Proteas grapple with illness

Reuters and Sapa-AFP | 19 September, 2012 14:570 Comments
South Africa's captain AB de Villiers (L) leaves the net area with coach Gary Kirsten during a training session at Moors cricket ground in Colombo September 18, 2012, ahead of South Africa's World Twenty20 match against Zimbabwe at Hambantota on Thursday
Image by: Philip Brown / REUTERS

Five South African players have fallen ill but are expected to be fit for the team’s first Twenty20 World Cup match against Zimbabwe on Thursday, the Proteas team manager said.

“We have a few guys who’ve gone down with viral infection, vomiting and diarrhoea but I am happy to say that they are on the mend,” team manager Mohammed Moosajee said on Wednesday.

“I am hopeful come tomorrow, all 15 will be fit to take the field,” he said while declining to identify the players struck by illness.

On Monday, three members of New Zealand’s World Twenty20 team — Tim Southee, Rob Nicol and Daniel Vettori — suffered stomach trouble.

For South Africa, allrounder Albie Morkel is also doubtful for Thursday’s match because of a back problem.

“Albie will be having a fitness test tomorrow morning,” said Moosajee.

“The results of the MRI scan we took yesterday were inconclusive.

“There is a chance that he might play, but we don’t want to take any chances,” he said.

Morkel bowled nine balls in South Africa’s warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday before leaving the field due to lower back spasms.

Meanwhile high-flying South Africa batsman Hashim Amla said his team was ready for their African neighbours Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe were smarting from a big 82-run defeat at the hands of hosts Sri Lanka, with mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis registering best figures of 6-8 in all Twenty20 internationals in the tournament opener here on Tuesday.

Amla, 29, said Zimbabwe will come down hard in their last chance to stay in the tournament.

“Zimbabwe are a professional team, they must want to improve on their performance but we are coming well prepared so whatever they bring to the party, obviously we need to be better than that,” Amla said on Wednesday.

Amla said South Africa’s recent showings in all three forms of the game has lifted their confidence.

“A lot of people have said that there are few favourites (in the event), suddenly we take confidence that we have played good cricket over the last year or so but it’s too early to tell that who the favourites are,” said Amla.

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