Sri Lanka will look to make their case strong for a semi-finals berth when they play against South Africa in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup on Friday at The Riverside Durham.
The World Cup 2011 finalist Sri Lanka still have their hopes alive to play in the semi-finals as they have six points in the six matches played so far. Sri Lanka have to win every match from here to secure a place in the top four.
Sri Lanka were the most unlucky team in this World Cup, as two of their fixtures were abandoned due to rain. The team defeated England in their last match.
South Africa, on the other hand, are out of the tournament as they won only a single game out of seven. Proteas did not get a good start as they lost their first three matches and their game against the West Indies was washed out. South Africa could not recover from there and only managed to win against Afghanistan.
Here are the key players to watch out for in today’s match:
Quinton de Kock
South Africa’s wicket-keeper batsman de Kock strengthens the top-order and provides a speedy start to the innings. The left-hander has the ability to adapt according to the situation. In South Africa’s first World Cup match, de Kock scored a well-compiled 74-ball 68 runs, including six boundaries and two sixes in an attempt to single-handedly save the sinking Proteas ship. De Kock has scored 238 runs in seven matches.
Sri Lankan skipper Karunaratne played a knock of 97 runs against Australia and contributed unbeaten 52 runs against New Zealand. Karunaratne has 283 runs in the tournament and he is in great form.
The right-arm fast bowler possesses the skills of bowling both in-swingers and out-swingers. The 24-year old is also known for his toe-breaking yorkers in the death overs. Rabada finished at the second position in the highest wicket-takers’ list in the recent edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). Rabada has so far taken six wickets in this World Cup and the Proteas bowling heavily rely on him.
One of the best pacers in the world, Lasith Malinga is the master of the slow ball, which makes him a go-to wicket-taker. During the 2019 IPL final, the Sri Lankan’s feat helped Mumbai Indians secure a close victory over Chennai Super Kings. The 35-year-old scalped four wickets against England in the last game, taking his total to eight wickets in the World Cup so far.
(With ANI inputs)