Cottrell double puts West Indies on top against South Africa

Southampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


West Indies paceman Sheldon Cottrell reduced South Africa to 29 for two before rain stopped play in their World Cup match in Southampton on Monday.

South Africa, desperately needing a win after defeats in all three of their matches so far at the tournament in England and Wales, lost the toss and were put in to bat under threatening skies.

They were quickly in trouble, with Hashim Amla edging Cottrell to Chris Gayle at slip for just six, sparking the bowler's trademark celebration featuring a short march and salute.

That brought Aiden Markram to the wicket but he had only made five when he tickled a Cottrell delivery down the legside and wicketkeeper Shai Hope completed the catch to leave South Africa in deep trouble at 28-2 in the seventh over.

In the following over, delivered by Oshane Thomas, rain stopped play and the covers came on.

Earlier, West Indies captain Jason Holder opted to field under heavy cloud cover and with a poor forecast.

"We are going to field first, obviously it is overcast and there is some rain around," said Holder, whose side beat Pakistan in their opening match before losing to Australia when they were well-placed to win.

"We have reflected on the defeat to Australia, which hurt us deeply, but we have to move on. Take the learning out of it and make amends.

"We have to do the basics better, the batters have to take more responsibility."

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis insisted his troubled side could still turn their fortunes around.

"We have played two of the strongest teams (England and India)," he said. "It's a six-week tournament and if you can turn that momentum around, you can ride it. It's about not focusing on the negatives."

South Africa brought in batsman Markram for JP Duminy and left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks, who replaced injured fast bowler Dale Steyn in the squad, made his first start of the tournament, coming in for Tabraiz Shamsi.

Darren Bravo came in for the West Indies to replace injured opener Evin Lewis. Seamer Kemar Roach was included in place of injured all-rounder Andre Russell.