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by Saksham Mishra & Cricket World Thursday 27 June 2019
June 28, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 35th match, 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street
Following just one win and one rained-off game from seven matches, South Africa are placed at the second last place in the points table. After suffering five defeats, the team has just three points and is above only Afghanistan.
With an inspired win against England in their last match, Sri Lanka are currently placed at the the seventh place in the points table. With two wins and two losses from six matches, they have also gained two points from their two abandoned games and are with six points.
The team was never really in contention for the semi-finals but they must be rejuvenated after a surprise win over England and that might help them rise to the occasion.
Sri Lanka have a lot of issues with their batting. Their opening pair of Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera have been good but the middle order needs to step up. Karunaratne is their highest run-scorer and has played hands of 52 against New Zealand and 97 against Australia. Perera also scored 78 against Afghanistan and 52 against Australia.
Avishka Fernando showed sparks of brilliance in the last match. The team would need senior pro Angelo Mathews to also contribute on a consistent basis.
With the ball, Lasith Malinga has been the star for them with eight wickets from four games at an economy of under six. He will have the support of Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana.
South Africa have no dearth of talent with the likes of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller in their batting line-up.
Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Chris Morris will shoulder the pace attack, while Imran Tahir will provide them with a top-class spinning option.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
South Africa- 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
©Cricket World 2019