Cricket World Cup: South Africa vs Sri Lanka
Venue: Riverside Ground, Durham
Date: Friday 28th June 2019
South Africa have been mathematically eliminated from the Cricket World Cup but will be playing for pride against a Sri Lanka side that still have an outside chance of semi-final qualification. Faf du Plessis spoke of his ‘embarrassment’ at the way in which his side have performed in England and he will be looking for a response from his beleaguered troops. The Proteas are currently in 9th place in the table, with their only win thus far coming over bottom side Afghanistan and they will be looking to show some resilience in Durham. For Sri Lanka meanwhile, the conundrum is completely different following their win over hosts England and they look resurgent. Despite the circumstances being very different for both sides, this should be an entertaining tie between two well matched sides.
The Proteas have looked off the pace in comparison to the likes of England, India and Australia – principally in the batting department. They have only passed 300 once as a team, a score that ultimately saw them come up short against Bangladesh regardless. Their normally potent bowling attack Imran Tahir, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada hasn’t really terrorised opposition batting line-ups and as a result South Africa have lacked a cutting edge throughout the tournament so far.
Sri Lanka will be riding the crest of a wave following their win over England last week at Headingley and they will be looking for repeat performance here. Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga continue to produce the performances and the results for Sri Lanka and along with some exciting young talents in Kusal Mendis and Isuru Udana they look to have the basis of a squad that can kick on over the rest of the tournament.
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South Africa have really struggled to post big totals on the board at any stage of the Cricket World Cup so far and this could be yet another low scoring encounter featuring Sri Lanka.
Faf du Plessis has been staging a one man fight for South Africa at times during this World Cup and his 63 against Pakistan was yet another dogged display. He lacks the fluency of some of his counterparts at the crease but he never gives his wicket away.
Paceman Lungi Ndidi has been plagued by injury at the World Cup so far but his extra speed and bounce has troubled batsmen in every game he has played. He took 3 wickets against Pakistan at Lords and he will relish the chance to bowl at the Sri Lankans in Durham.
Kusal Mendis is one of the top performers in world cricket currently and the nature of his 48 against England last time out suggested that he could be finding form at the right time for the Sri Lankans.
Few bowlers in world cricket possess the skill set that Lasith Malinga does and the Sri Lankan talisman rolled back the years to put in an incredible performance against England last time out and he is a man in form.
The context of this game for both sides could not be more different with South Africa playing for pride whilst Sri Lanka are looking for a big win in their semi-final quest. The Proteas look a side unsure of their best team and low on confidence and the Sri Lankans could well capitalise upon that and pick up a famous win at 1.80 to win the match with BetXChange.com.
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