ICC World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka vs South Africa top five player battles - Proteas wary of Lasith Malinga threat
Sri Lanka will face off against South Africa in the World Cup fixture on Friday. A look at five key player battles that could define the contest.Updated: Jun 28, 2019 10:58 IST
Buoyed by the stunning win against England, Sri Lanka will look to keep their semifinals hopes alive as they train their sights on South Africa in a do-or-die World Cup encounter in Chester-le-Street on Friday. Sri Lanka’s surprise 20-run victory over England has suddenly thrown open the semifinal qualifications, breathing new life into their inconsistent campaign. With two wins, Sri Lanka are currently at the seventh spot with six points and need to win rest of their three matches to harbour hopes of a semifinal berth.
Lasith Malinga vs Quinton de Kock
Lasith Malinga picked a five-wicket haul against England as he helped Sri Lanka pick a thriller win over the hosts. The right-armer will enjoy bowling against an underconfident South Afirica, who are already out of the tournament. Quinton de Kock has faced the bowler for 134 deliveries since 2013, and he has scored 125 runs. But the batsman has been dismissed thrice by the bowler and more of this could be in store for him in the next match.
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Imran Tahir vs Kusal Mendis
Imran Tahir has been in fine form at the World Cup, picking up 10 wickets in 7 games. The leggie is currently the leading wickettaker for the Proteas, and will hope he can pick up crucial wickets in the final two games as well for the side. The right-armer has troubled Kusal Mendis in the past with the batsman just scoring 45 runs in the 90 balls he has faced from the spinner in his career. He has also been dismissed thrice. This could be a crucial contest in the match.
Kagiso Rabada vs Dimuth Karunaratne
It is a fact well acknowledged that Kagiso Rabada enjoys bowling to left-handed batsmen with the new ball. With both Sri Lanka openers left-handed, Rabada is likely to enjoy his opening spell on Friday. The pacer has not had much success in the tournament, and he would be eager to finish the tournament on a high. Getting the dismissal of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne will be a fine way to get some confidence back for the fast bowler.
Dhananjaya de Silva vs Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis has often struggled against spin bowlers in his career. His biggest challenge against Sri Lanka will be against the spinner Dhananjaya de Silva. The batsman has enjoyed facing the bowler in his career, having played 63 balls from him and scoring 60 runs in them. He has been, though, dismissed once by the off-spinner and would be eager to avoid the same on Friday.
Lungi Ngidi vs Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews’ scored an unbeaten 85 runs against England, which proved crucial in the end as Sri Lanka defeated the hosts. The batsman will be the key to Sri Lanka’s middle order, but he could face a stiff competition against Lungi Ngidi, who has been successful agains him in the past. Mathews has faced 27 balls from Ngidi, in which he has scored just 18 runs and has been dismissed twice.
First Published: Jun 28, 2019 10:57 IST