South Africa vs. Sri Lanka
|Date & Time||Friday June 28, 2019, 5:30 AM (EDT)|
South Africa 1.53 Sri Lanka 2.62
Sri Lanka face South Africa in Durham on Friday with Sri Lanka still in with a shot of qualifying for the semi-finals. They have six points from six matches and sit 5th in the table. South Africa have already been eliminated from the competition and have just three points with two games left to play.
South Africa have endured a dismal World Cup which has seen them claim just one win so far. Their victory over bottom of the table Afghanistan is the only match they have taken two points from with their only other point coming from their abandoned match with West Indies.
Sri Lanka also beat Afghanistan and a shock win over England in their previous match has kept their tournament hopes alive. They also had matches abandoned due to rain which meant they came away with a point against Bangladesh and Pakistan.
They stunned the competition by beating hosts and tournament favorites England in their last match. They only managed 232/9 from their 50 overs and England were expected to chase that total down with ease. Sri Lanka managed to bowl them out for 212 with just three overs remaining to claim a famous 20-run win.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers were outstanding. Veteran paceman Lasith Malinga – playing in his last World Cup – produced a vintage performance and finished with figures of 4/43. The England batsmen had no answer for his hostile bowling and South Africa will be worried about facing him. Dhananjaya de Silva backed up Malinga well and claimed 3/32 from eight overs.
The pick of their batsmen was Angelo Mathews who scored a brilliant 85 from 115 deliveries to anchor his side’s innings. Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis both got into the 40s but they will be hoping that more of their batsmen to chip in with runs against South Africa.
South Africa’s last match was a dramatic four-wicket loss to top of the table New Zealand. Rassie van der Dussen top scored with 67 from 64 and Hashim Amla also claimed a half century. Chris Morris was the pick of the bowlers, claiming figures of 3/49, but their efforts weren’t good enough to secure the win for their side.
South Africa have been below par throughout the tournament and have struggled to find any sort of rhythm. Their aging players are past their best and it is looking like the end of an era for this ODI team.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka were one of the less favored teams leading up to the tournament. For them to still be in with a chance of finishing in the top four and reaching the semi-finals must be seen as an achievement.
Neither side has been in eye catching form but Sri Lanka still have something to play for. For that reason, I'm predicting that Sri Lanka will beat South Africa on Friday and keep their semi-final hopes alive.