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Sri Lanka vs South Africa | Malinga Threat Looms Large Over Faltering Proteas

Cricketnext Staff |June 27, 2019, 3:46 PM IST
Sri Lanka vs South Africa | Malinga Threat Looms Large Over Faltering Proteas

Sri Lanka are one of the teams who are living on a prayer in the ICC World Cup 2019. Their 20-run win over hosts England has given them an outside chance of making the semifinals if all permutations and combinations go their way.

For that to happen they need to win all three of their remaining games starting with South Africa at Chester-le-Street in Durham on Friday (June 28). Lanka’s opponents have had a disastrous time in the tournament so far and after seven games they only have a win over Afghanistan to show for their efforts.

Coming into the World Cup, Lanka were the weaker of the two sides, especially after the 4-0 mauling at the hands of South Africa earlier this year. But slowly they have managed to keep themselves in the hunt for reaching the last four stage.

In the first few games, Lanka’s middle-order was the biggest cause of concern with the bulk of the scoring done by opener and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and his partner Kusal Perera. However, the game against England helped the likes of Kusal Mendis, Avishka Fernando and Angelo Mathews hit form at the right time.

The man crucial to their turnaround has been former ODI captain and pace spearhead Lasith Malinga. He might have lost some pace with age but makes up for that with his guile and remains a big threat as the Englishmen found out.

South African batsmen have struggled throughout the tournament and Malinga & Co will look to keep them down to keep their hopes alives.

Last Five ODIs

Sri Lanka: W NR NR L W

Their tournament has been a roller-coaster ride with a share of controversies over pitches and training conditions being offered to them. A couple of rained-out games hit them hard but they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the last game by defeating the home side.

South Africa: L NR W L L

The 2015 World Cup semifinalist have only won one game – over Afghanistan – in this World Cup. Losses to New Zealand and Pakistan were the final nails in the South African coffin.

Twitter/ cricket world cup Twitter/ Cricket World Cup

Players to watch out for

Lasith Malinga: He seems to have found a fresh wind in this World Cup. Slinga Malinga kept his cool in IPL-12 to guide Mumbai Indians to the title and is now the leading wicket-taker for his side with eight scalps at an average of 23.62. His variety coupled with accuracy makes him a big threat even at 35 years of age.

Faf du Plessis: The South African skipper has led a losing battle for most of the tournament. Du Plessis has failed to carry on to bigger scores in spite of scoring a couple of half-centuries. He’ll look to end his and team’s campaign with a few wins at least.

Team News/Availability:

Sri Lanka: They are unlikely to make any changes to the winning combination for this must-win tie.

South Africa: With nothing to lose, South Africa might well try out Beuran Hendricks and Tabraiz Shamsi for this clash.

Squads (from):

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pertorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamshi, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Rassie van der Dussen, Beuran Hendricks.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more