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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 35, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Preview – Chance for Islanders to get close to the top four spot

South Africa have big names in the squad, yet squandered good opportunities to find themselves where they are.

Isuru Udana
Isuru Udana. (Photo Source: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Such games in a tournament of this stature are always very difficult. South Africa know they don’t have a chance of qualifying to the semifinals. Yet they will have to come out another couple of times on to the field with full dedication, just to ensure they bow out with dignity. It is not a great thing to fight for, but something is better than nothing.

Mathematically, Sri Lanka have a great chance of making it to the knockouts given they win all of their remaining games. They will be facing the West Indies and India after this fixture and considering a fact that the Proteas and the Caribbean men are not in great form, they will definitely fancy their chances.

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Do they have the mettle to get through this difficult period is the biggest question among experts. South Africa have big names in the squad, yet squandered good opportunities to find themselves where they are. Sri Lanka look rejuvenated with that outstanding win against England, but the coming challenges will be a lot more difficult than that.

Playing Combinations

Sri Lanka

No changes are expected from the side that defeated England. Avishka Fernando’s audaciousness is a breath of fresh air for the Lankan Lions and they also need the skipper to bat around the likes of him and Kusal Perera. Lasith Malinga was on a roll and removed all the major top order names with Nuwan Pradeep assisting him brilliantly. Dhananjaya de Silva turned out to be a surprise package with the ball and he will continue partnering Jeevan Mendis in the spin department.

Probable XI

Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Jeevan Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep.

South Africa

It has been a forgettable World Cup for the openers of South Africa, who now will play with relatively less pressure considering there’s nothing to fight for. Aiden Markram turned out to be a disappointment but Rassie van der Dussen is promising a bright future. Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada unable to contain the Pakistani openers in the previous game, thus applying more pressure on the bowlers to come later. Imran Tahir will continue as the only spinner in the lineup.

Probable XI

Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir

Focus will be on

Nuwan Pradeep (Sri Lanka)

The Lankan speedster bowled as well as Lasith Malinga did on the day, but couldn’t get the wickets he deserved. Yet, Nuwan Pradeep managed to provide the telling blow against England which kept the Lankan aspirations alive. He has been very impressive this tournament with his channels and if he can deliver some more good spells, even bad fortune can’t stop him from picking big wickets.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

Before the tournament started, he was one of the hottest properties to watch out for but Kagiso Rabada just remained silent. His ball didn’t do the talking and it cost his team a lot. He is being criticized by a lot of fans and experts for his pale performances and it will be interesting to see if he has anything left up his sleeves to bow out on a high.

Head to head

Matches played – 76 | Sri Lanka won – 31 | South Africa won – 43 | No Result – 1 | Tied – 1

Stat Attack

1 – Dimuth Karunaratne is the only captain in this World Cup with less than 500 runs. Closest to him is Gulbadin Naib, who has 1,004 runs to his name.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports

Live Streaming– Hotstar

Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local

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