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South Africa v West Indies 2nd Test Match Preview

South Africa one win away from sealing the No.1 ranking in Tests and ending the year on a high

South Africa v West Indies 2nd Test Match Preview - Cricket News
Dale Steyn needs one wicket to equal Makhaya Ntini on 390 Test wickets in second place for South Africa.
When South Africa takes on the West Indies at Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day, it will hope to end the year on a high. With the home side already 1-0 up in the three-match series, it will hope to end the year having sealed the series.
 
Dale Steyn, the South African paceman, created serious impact as the West Indies was blown away within 15.3 overs in the first Test at the Centurion. As West Indies' last seven wickets fell for 55 runs, Steyn was the central figure, returning figures of 6 for 31 in seven overs. With that, Steyn not only retained his No. 1 ranking, but achieved his career-best rating of 909 points.
 
South Africa is just one win away from sealing the No. 1 Test team ranking as well. If it wins this series, it will retain the ICC Test Championship Mace.
 
Preview in numbers: 
 
-          South Africa and the West Indies have met 26 times in Test cricket with South Africa leading 17-3 with six draws.

-          In South Africa, it is far more one-sided with the home side leading 11-1 with one draw in their 13 meetings.

-          The sole victory for the West Indies in South Africa came at Port Elizabeth in 2007 but South Africa won that series 2-1.

-          They have met twice at Port Elizabeth with the home side winning by 178 runs in 1998, and the visitors winning by 128 runs in 2007.

-          South Africa has won 10, lost 11 and drawn four of its 25 Tests at Port Elizabeth, and the last five Tests at the ground have produced positive results.

-          Four of the last five captains to win the toss at the ground have chosen to bat first.

-          In the first Test at Centurion, Stiaan van Zyl scored a century on debut, now he will try to be the first South African (and ninth man in all) to score centuries in his first two Tests.

-          Robin Peterson is out with a finger injury, joining Dane Piedt on the sidelines, while Imran Tahir (15 Tests, 40 wickets at 47.17) replaces him.

-          Rilee Rossouw replaces Quinton de Kock in the squad, but he himself is nursing a finger injury. He scored a double-century for South Africa A against Australia A in August.

-           Temba Bavuma from the Lions (3631 runs at 35.95 in 68 first-class matches) could make his debut if Rossouw is unfit, with AB de Villiers keeping wickets.

-          Kenroy Peters (top wicket-taker in the 2013-14 Regional Four Day Competition, with 40 wickets for Windward Islands at an average of 12.75) replaces Kemar Roach (ankle strain) in the West Indies squad.

-          The Centurion Test was Devon Smith’s first Test since May 2011. He averages 24.55 with just one century from 34 Tests.

-          AB de Villiers is ranked second in the world in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen and averages 84.92 in 11 Tests against the West Indies.

-          Hashim Amla (three centuries in his last six Tests) is in third place with Faf du Plessis in 16th place.

-          Alviro Petersen’s last 14 Tests have brought just 541 runs at 24.59 with three fifties.

-          Dale Steyn is the world’s top-rated bowler, well clear of second-placed Rangana Herath. He has taken 48 wickets at 17.95 in his last eight Tests.

-          Vernon Philander was back in form at Centurion. First 15 Tests: 87 wickets at 16.81, but his previous 11 Tests had only brought only 28 wickets at 36.35.

-          Shivnarine Chanderpaul is ranked fifth with the bat.  He averages 85.43 in his last 15 Tests with five centuries, but failed with 21 & 4 at Centurion.

-          Since scoring 260 against Bangladesh at Khulna in November 2012, Marlon Samuels averages just 21.43 in nine Tests.

-          With Roach missing, the highest ranked West Indies bowler is Sulieman Benn in 21st place.

-          AB de Villiers will play his 97th successive Test from his debut – breaking Adam Gilchrist’s record.

-          Dale Steyn needs one wicket to equal Makhaya Ntini on 390 Test wickets in second place for South Africa. Shaun Pollock leads with 421.

-          Irrespective of how the Australia-India series pans out, if South Africa wins the series, it will be guaranteed top spot in the Reliance ICC Test Rankings.

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