With a net run rate of +3.183, England are more or less through to the semi-finals with four wins from as many games, while South Africa are lying in the third spot with six points from four matches.
Both South Africa and Australia are in close race for the second semi-final spot from Group 1 but the Australians are above the Proteas on the basis of a better net run rate, though they have six points each.
It will all boil down to Saturday’s game and South Africa will know what exactly they need to do before facing England as Australia play West Indies in the first match of the day.
The Proteas can’t afford to slip even a bit and need a resounding win to keep their hopes alive. But with form on their side, an ominous-looking England will definitely start as firm favourites against the Proteas.
After three consecutive wins over Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and West Indies, South Africa suffered their first defeat against Australia in their last match, putting questions on their campaign.
England would look to capitalise on it and finish off their group campaign with a perfect record. They have more or less ticked all boxes in their campaign so far.
England looked one of the best teams in the tournament other than Pakistan.
Following a flawless campaign to date, England are sitting pretty at the top of Group 1, but it is worth remembering that they were 35-3 against Sri Lanka at one stage and needed an extraordinary hundred from Jos Buttler to get them to a match-winning score of 163-4.
Prior to that, the likes of Jason Roy, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow all found things tough as the low, skiddy bounce that has dominated Sharjah in the last few months made run-scoring hard work, while spin continued to pose a big threat.
South Africa’s well-rounded attack can tick both of those boxes, with excellent pace duo, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, coming into this clash having shared six wickets against Bangladesh last time out, and spin twins Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi continuing to enjoy these conditions.
Expect Maharaj to feature in the powerplay – and his battle with Roy could be fascinating – while Rabada and Nortje will go hard at Buttler, hitting the pitch with pace from back of a length and hoping for some uneven bounce.
England v South Africa, Head to Head:
Matches Played: 20
England Won: 11
South Africa Won: 9
In a compelling battle between the rivals, England lead the rivalry against South Africa by a narrow margin. Of the twenty T-20 International’s played, South Africa have won nine whereas England has won eleven.
England vs South Africa Match Details
Match Date: Saturday, November 6
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Ground
Match Start Time: 7:30 PM IST
The pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium is a touch on the slower side. There isn’t much swing on offer for the pacers, who will look to take the pace off to get something off the surface. As the match progresses, the spinners will come into play, making for a good contest. Both teams will look to chase upon winning the toss, with 150-160 being a good total.
England vs South Africa Predicted XI
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwaine Pretorius, Rassie van der Dussen
Fantasy Team Prediction:
Jos Buttler (C), Jonny Bairstow, Quinton de Kock (VC), David Miller, Temba Bavuma, Dawid Malan, Aiden Markram, Anrich Nortje, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan and Keshav Maharaj
England vs South Africa Prediction
Both teams have won their previous game in Sharjah in this competition so should not have too many worries about the pitch. There are quality spinners in both teams who will enjoy the conditions but I think England’s superior batting line-up will take them to another victory.