Then there were 8. That is the number of teams left in the tournament who are still in contention for reaching the semi-final. Thanks to the sensational upset caused by Sri Lanka over England, each of the teams who looked down and out has found a new lease on life. But that is not true for South Africa, who have lost all but one game out of the seven cricket games played and are the second team to crash out after Afghanistan.
It did not look like it is going to be the best cricket game of this World Cup then when Sri Lanka managed just 232 runs after batting first against England. But during England’s run chase, Sri Lanka began strangling the run-rate of England slowly but surely. Led by the limited overs format legend Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka suffocated the English lineup and they were devoid of usual flair with which they normally go for such run chases.
Before that game, it looked like a gulf was getting created between the top four teams, India, Australia, England and New Zealand and the rest of the remaining six teams, but by beating England, Sri Lanka helped not only themselves but also Pakistan. Bangladesh also found themselves breathing again. South Africa, meanwhile, continued to stumble upon one loss to another and had unarguably their worst World Cup campaign ever.
SriLanka Team News –
Sri Lanka’s stunning win over England last Friday coupled with another loss for the hosts on Tuesday to Australia has opened the door to Sri Lanka’s chances of a semi-final spot but that makes this match a must-win game for them at Chester-le-Street.
Their first priority will be winning this game but they also know that improving their net run rate is also important so that could become a factor later in the game though getting the basics right first has to be the key for them.
Despite the win over England, there were plenty of areas for improvement with the bat especially as the openers were both gone with only three on the board and they will need to give their bowlers better support if they are to win here.
They got a big blow as their Pacer Nuwan Pradeep is ill and is unlikely to feature in this game. S Lakmal is expected to replace him.
Captain D Karunaratne and Kusal Perera will open the Innings. D Karunaratne is in very good form. Perera is a attacking batsman while Karunaratne is technically very strong.
Avishka Fernando will bat at no 3. Avishka is a very attacking batsman. He played a match winning knock of 49 in last game.
Kusal Mendis will bat at 4. He is a very talented youngster but failed in all the matches. He finally got some runs in last game. He scored 46 in last game.
The experienced Angelo Mathews will bat next at 5. He scored a match winning 85 runs in last game after struggling in the initial games.
Dhanajaya de silva will bat at 6. Dhannajaya is a decent batsman and will also bowl some over of off spin. He scored 43 in warm up game against SA.
Thisara Parera will bat next and handle the Allrounding section.
De Silva and Jeevan Mendis (if plays) will lead the Pace Attack of team. De Silva took 3 wickets in last game.
Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana and S Laxmal will lead the pace attack along with T Perera. Malinga has a lot of experience with him. He took 4 wickets against England and won the match for his team. Udana took 2 wickets in last game.
South Africa –
South Africa have already been eliminated from the World Cup as they come into their penultimate match and they are going to have to pick themselves up and somehow turn things around if they are to salvage pride after a hugely disappointing tournament.
The inquest began right after the last defeat at the hands of Pakistan on Sunday with criticism coming in for skipper Du Plessis and key pace bowler Rabada, and there is plenty of negativity within the camp which does not bode well for them producing a good performance here.
There is a chance that there could be a couple of changes with Pretorius and Shamsi candidates to be given opportunities in the eleven if they do decide to make changes and it would be no surprise if they rest one of two of their struggling regulars.
David Miller is suffering from groint injury and will not play. JP Duminy is expected to replace him.
For South Africa QdK and Hashim Amla will open the innings. De Kock has been one of the most consistent players for South Africa in the recent past. While Amla has been up and down with regard to his form.
Captain Faf du Plessis will bat at 1 down. He is team’s most reliable player scoring 628 runs this year.
Aiden Markram will bat at 2 down. He has been consistent performer at the domestic level,but haven’t performed according to his caliber.
Rassie van der Dussen will bat at no 5. Dussen is a very good young talented batsman. Dussen scored 36 in last game.
JP Duminy will bat next. He has a lot of experience with him, but haven’t performed that good recently. He will also bowl some part time off spin.
Andile Phehlukwayo will bat next. He is a very good allrounder. Chris Morris will follow him and both will do the all rounding duties.
Imran tahir will lead the spin attack of team. Tahir is a world class leg spinner. He took 4 wickets against Afghanistan and 2 in last game.
Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will lead the pace attack. Rabada is the best ODI bowler.
The Number’s Game-
Head to Head in World Cup –
Matches Played : 5
SL Won : 1
SA Won : 3
NR/Tie : 0/1
Highest Score : 314/10 Eng vs Aus(2018)
Lowest Score : 99/10 Eng vs SL (2014)
Average Score : 222
Head to Head (in ODI) :Overall :
Matches Played : 76
SL Won : 31
SA Won : 43
NR/Tie : 1/1
In last 10 games :
Matches Played : 10
SL Won : 2
SA Won : 8
In World Cups :
Matches Played : 5
SL Won : 1
SA Won : 3
NR/Tie : 0/1
Probable XI –D Karunaratne, K Perera, Avishka Fernando, K Mendis, Angelo Mathews, D De Silva, Thisara Parera, Jeevan Mendis, I Udana, Lasith Malinga, S Lakmal(high)/N Pradeep.
Probable XI –Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf, Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy , Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi.
QdK( Best batsman of SA, consistent, best option in WK)
Kusal Mendis (Their most important batsman, very talented, 46 in last game)
K Perera( Very attacking batsman )
Faf Du Plessis ( Consistent and most important player of team, 63 in last game)
Dimuth Karunratne( 4 fiftees in last 6 innings,97 against Australia)
Hashim Amla( Experienced, Going through very bad form)
Angelo Mathews( Very experienced, 85 in last game)
Rassie van der Dussen (Averages stunning 74 this year + 569 runs in 16 innings)
Aiden Markram ( Attacking talented batsman, struggling with his form)
A Fernando ( Attacking batsman, 49 in last game)
Chris Morris( Attacking bats + very good bowler, 6 wickets in last 3 games)
Andile Phehlukwayo ( Good hitter of the ball + wicket taker)
Thisara Perera( Good attacking Allrounder)
Dhanajaya de silva( Good allrounder, 5 wickets in last 2 games)
Malinga ( Best bowler of Sri lanka , 4 Wicket last game, death over specialist)
Kagiso Rabada(18 wicket this year from 13 innings, Among Top ODI bowlers currently, death over specialist )
Lungi Ngidi( 3 wickets in last game)
Imran Tahir( Leggie, wicket taker, 2 wickets last game)
Udana( Left arm Pacer )
Suranga Lakmal( Depends on swing, very good bowler, will play today)