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South Africa v Sri Lanka - Cricket World Cup Quarter-Final Preview and Tips

Suneer Chowdhary 17 Mar 2015
  • South Africa and Sri Lanka get the quarter-finals underway
  • South Africa have never won a knockout game at the tournament
  • The Proteas lead the head-to-head with Sri Lanka 2-1
AB de Villiers will lead South Africa

South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in the first quarter-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

South Africa will be looking to record their first-ever win in the Cricket World Cup knockout stages having never won a game beyond the group stage.

The game at the SCG starts at 2.30pm AEDT and will be broadcast on Fox Sports in Australia. Coverage will also be available online.



Preview

It's been a rather interesting journey for both teams through to the quarter-finals. South Africa ended second in their group but a defeat to each of India and Pakistan in the pool fixtures will be a cause for concern for them given they had started off as one of the favourites in the tournament.

What will bother South Africa even more is that those losses came batting second; reigniting a belief that they have a tendency to fall apart under pressure. Batting first, the likes of AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla have been able to bat their natural self, pile on the agony and that can be underlined by the fact they have had scores of 339, 408, 411 and 341 from their 50 overs. 

Sri Lanka looked awful against New Zealand in their opener but gradually came into their own with victories over the lower-ranked sides. Their biggest win came against England when they chased down 309 for the loss of just one wicket with a good 16 balls to spare.

The Sri Lankan batting has carried them through in the World Cup so far, with Kumar Sangakkara's four centuries and T Dilshan's two putting them in the top four of the top run-getters of the tournament. It's their bowling which could be a bit of a worry given Lasith Malinga has been their best bowler with 11 wickets but even he has conceded 5.4 an over.



Sri Lanka have suffered a lot of injuries going into and through the entire duration of the World Cup. One of the biggest losses has been the injury to Rangana Herath, who might not get fit in time for this quarter-final either.

In his pre-match conference, the South African captain said the entire team is fully fit and raring to go, so that's the one problem they do not have as opposed to what Sri Lanka are suffering from. The good news for South Africa was the return of Vernon Philander in their game against UAE after having missed four games in a row earlier because of an injury.

The bigger question for South Africa is if they will bring in an extra bowler or an extra batsman into the playing XI. Against UAE, South Africa decided to play Rilee Rossouw at three and dropped Faf du Plessis and replaced him with Farhaan Behardien. Behardien hammered a 31-ball 64 and then bowled four overs as well. Will he be retained in the side?

There have been four previous meetings between these two teams with the scorelines reading 2-1 in favour of South Africa with one tied game. 

Predictions

South Africa to win
AB de Villiers to top-score for South Africa
Kumar Sangakkara to top-score for Sri Lanka


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South Africa v Sri Lanka - Cricket World Cup Quarter-Final Preview and Tips

South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in the first quarter-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

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