South Africa, despite defeating Indian in the opening One-day International here on Thursday, are languishing at 11th position in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League Standings a position which will not earn them automatic qualification in next year's 50-over World Cup in India.
In fact, even if they make a clean sweep of the three-match series here and also win the ODIs against England at home and the two games remaining from their suspended home series against the Netherlands, it is unlikely they will be able to automatically qualify for the showpiece event.
India are currently sixth in the Super League standings. Only Zimbabwe (12th) and Netherlands (13th) are below South Africa in the standings.The Proteas, before the start of the ongoing series against India, were languishing at 11th place with just four wins in 13 matches.
A total of 13 teams are ranked in the Cricket World Cup Super League Standings 12 Full Member nations, along with the Netherlands and the bottom-five teams, after the two-year Super League qualification period, will play a qualifying tournament, which will also feature the best teams from the lower rungs of competition.
When the Proteas forfeited the ODI series against Australia in January next year, reportedly due to their much-hyped franchise-based inaugural SA20 tournament at home, they had to give away all 30 ODI World Cup Super League points that were on offer, according to ICC.
Since then, they have levelled the series against England in England (1-1), but it hasn't made their position in the standings any better.Put in to bat first in Lucknow in a 40-overs game, South Africa were reduced to 71/3 with India striking two quick blows.
The wicket of Quinton de Kock further dented the visitors, but the tables turned when Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller came thogether at the crease.The two put on an unbeaten 139-run stand in 17.4 overs to take South Africa to 249 in 40 overs.
Klaasen remained unbeaten on 74 off 65 balls while Miller, carrying forward his fine recent form, finished on a 63-ball 75 not out.South Africa pushed their advantage further with the new ball as Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell sent back the India openers inside the first six overs.
Keshav Maharaj then spun a web over India batters with the pitch taking turn and India were reduced to 51/4.Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson resurrected the innings with a half-century stand, but Iyer was dismissed in the 27th over to give South Africa the upper hand.
Despite late fireworks from the Samson-Thakur pair, India finished short and South Africa earned some much-needed Super League points.