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Proteas' Ngidi set to return for NZ clash

The 23-year-old limped off with a hamstring injury as South Africa lost to Bangladesh on 2 June and has missed three matches since.

FILE: South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi reacts to a missed chance against Bangladesh during their Cricket World Cup match on 2 June 2019. Picture: @cricketworldcup/Twitter

BIRMINGHAM - South African fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is expected to return for Wednesday’s must-win Cricket World Cup game against New Zealand at Edgbaston after passing a fitness test.

The 23-year-old limped off with a hamstring injury as South Africa lost to Bangladesh on 2 June. He has missed three matches since but after being put through his paces on Monday he told reporters he was raring to go.

“I’m match fit at 100%. I went as hard as I could go in my test, at match intensity,” he said.

Defeat in their first three matches, followed by a washed out contest against the West Indies, hurt South Africa’s chances of advancing but an easy win over Afghanistan in Cardiff on Saturday gave them a glimmer of hope.

Ngidi will boost a pace attack that was handed a blow before the start of the tournament when Dale Steyn dropped out because of injury. Ngidi will likely open with Kagiso Rabada.

“There’s no way we’re not going to bowl short balls, but we need to hit our lengths very well, test the batsmen’s techniques, that’s what we’re good at and if we stick to that then we will do as well as we’re expected to,” he said.

“The pitch dictates what lengths to bowl and with the covers on the pitch for the last few days, the ball will probably nip around and swing a bit, so naturally you will bowl a fuller length.”

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