Proteas hoping for Steyn return

The Proteas look to field a more experienced bowling attack on Friday.

The Proteas look to field a more experienced bowling attack on Friday. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South Africa will be hoping their number one bowler can return ahead of their Champions Trophy clash with the West Indies in Cardiff.

Premier fast bowler Dale Steyn picked up a side strain in training and did not take part in the Proteas's 67 run win over Pakistan.

The West Indies are fresh off an eight wicket thrashing at the hands of India and are fighting to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Their star bowler has been off-spinner Sunil Narine who was their only wicket-taker in their match against India. The tournament has proved to be fruitful one for slow bowlers, much to the surprise of many onlookers.

Proteas spinner Aaron Phangiso admits the conditions have forced the side to change their plan of attack.

"Coming into this tournament we thought that it was going to be seamer-friendly [conditions]. The games that we've played so far showed that spinners have played a big role.

"A lot of spinners have been doing well and hopefully we'll continue doing that. If the coach thinks otherwise, that will be his call."

Much of the attention will be focused on the West Indies destructive opening batsman Chris Gayle, who has been in impressive form in limited overs cricket in recent matches.

Former Protea fast bowler Fanie de Villiers says the sooner the Proteas send big left-handers back to the pavilion the better.

"In one-day cricket, we've seen him in action for a bit. He's been quite dominant and if he gets runs we'll probably lose the game.

"He's probably going to play with a little bit of respect for us. I'd like him to be aggressive from the start and probably get himself out, but there's so much luck involved."