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World Cup 2019, South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Warm-up match, Preview – Can the lacklustre Islanders pull a rabbit out from their hats?

The 1996 World champions will not find it any easy after a plethora of changes were made to their squad.

South Africa's new kit
South Africa’s new kit. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One team has done it in the past but is a country mile away from doing it this time. The other, as always, has planted a brilliant squad but history doesn’t reckon they can do it. Sri Lanka and South Africa go head to head in Cardiff, Wales in the 2nd warm-up game of the World Cup 2019. Neither one of these sides enter the tournament as firm favourites, but in cricket, one can never say never just count someone out.

The 1996 World champions will not find it any easy after a plethora of changes were made to their squad. They do have some good names around, but just good names don’t win you World Cups. Do they have the spirit in them right now to pull off something similar to what Arjuna Ranatunga’s side did back in the day? Maybe not.

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South Africa had to deal with the retirement of AB de Villiers and although they found some good young talents in Aiden Markram, they still seem to lack an X-Factor in the unit to go all the way. Kagiso Rabada is one player they are relying heavily on to deliver the goods and it’ll be interesting to see how the youngster reciprocates.

Playing Combinations

Sri Lanka

Karunaratne and Avishka Fernando seem to be the opening pair for the Lankan side for this championship and they would also want to test the likes of Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews. Thisara Perera has played some decent knocks in recent times and will be keen to deliver even with the ball. Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep need some good practice considering they have been in decent form and it’ll be interesting to see how the veteran Lasith Malinga fares.

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

Who will win the match? – ICC World Cup 2019: Warm-up Match 2, South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Match Prediction – Weather Report, Pitch Conditions, Playing XIs and Live Streaming Details

South Africa

They have three decent openers in the XI among Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, out of which Amla is likely to play at number 3. Chris Morris has made it to the squad at the last moment and will need some match practice to prove his worth. Kagiso Rabada has brilliant bowling partners in Dwaine Pretorius and Dale Steyn to cause problems. Imran Tahir has been in sensational form as well and he could turn out to be a dark horse in the tournament.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.

Focus will be on

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

With a sensational last over in the final, Lasith Malinga won the IPL for the Mumbai Indians. The Lankan stalwart has had a dramatic couple of years and has been in and out of the squad. But it is clear he still has some strength left in him to do something good for his country. He is their most experienced player and will have a huge job in hand while leading the bowling attack.

Hashim Amla (South Africa)

Arguably one of the finest batsmen in South African history, it is almost saddening to see how Hashim Amla has lost his glorious touch. There was a time when bowlers would fear playing against him but he isn’t the same threat anymore. He will be batting at a different position when compared to the previous World Cup and his experience will be pivotal as the tournament goes on.

Head to Head

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

Broadcasting details

TV –  Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD

Live stream – Hotstar

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