The Cricket World Cup heads north to Chester-le-Street, Durham on Friday when a down and out South Africa will take on Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s last outing came on Friday of last week when they pulled off a surprise 20 run win over England in Leeds to give them an overall record of 2 wins, 2 defeats and 2 no results.
Batting first Sri Lanka could manage only 232/9 in their 50 overs with the top scores coming from Angelo Mathews (85 not out), Avishka Fernando (49) and Kusal Mendis (46). It didn’t look like anywhere near enough against a powerful England batting unit but Sri Lanka took 2 early wickets with just 26 runs on the board and they kept chipping away. Although Ben Stokes threatened to get England home Sri Lanka held their nerve and Lasith Malinga took 4 wickets, Dhananjaya de Silva 3 and Isuru Udana 2 as England were bowled out for 212.
Sri Lanka’s matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh were both washed out without a ball being bowled. In completed matches they lost New Zealand by 10 wickets, beat Afghanistan by 34 runs (DLS) and lost to Australia by 87 runs
Dimuth Karunaratne is leading run scorer for Sri Lanka with 180 runs and Kusal Perera has made 161. With the ball Malinga has taken 8 wickets and Nuwan Pradeep and Dhananjaya de Silva both have 5.
This was how Sri Lanka lined up against England last time out.
Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
The Proteas were in action against Pakistan at Lords on Sunday and a 49 run defeat confirmed they will exit the tournament after their final round robin match against Australia which doesn’t take place until 7th July. That will leave the squad kicking their heels for more than a week until that last match and the flight home following a nightmare tournament.
Tasked with chasing Pakistan’s bat first total of 308/7 (Ngidi, 3/63, Tahir 2/41) Quinton de Kock made 47, Faf du Plessis top scored with 63 and Andile Phehlukwayo was 46 not out when the innings closed on 259/9.
The Proteas now have a record of 1 win alongside 5 defeats and 1 no result with the only victory coming against Afghanistan (9 wickets DLS). The other defeats came against England (104 runs), Bangladesh (24 runs), India (6 wickets) and New Zealand (4 wickets) and no result was possible in South Africa’s clash with West Indies.
Quinton de Kock is leading run scorer for South Africa with 238, Rassie van der Dussen has 236 and Faf du Plessis has made 191. Imran Tahir is leading wicket taker with 10, Chris Morris has 9 and Andile Phehlukwayo has 8.
This is how South Africa lined up against Pakistan last time out.
Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (capt), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi
Head to Head
The teams have met 76 times with South Africa winning 43, Sri Lanka have won 31 with 1 tie and 1 no result.
A 5 match series in South Africa in March this year saw the Proteas complete a 5-0 clean sweep.
The Betting, Click here for all markets
South Africa 37/20
Sri Lanka 9/20
Note prices quoted are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change.
This is the first game at Durham and Sri Lanka will fancy their chances although they will have to prove that the bowling display against England was not a flash in the pan.
The Proteas have had a miserable time and it will be a pretty awful week to follow if they lose again here. Too many players have been under par and this is an opportunity for skipper Faf du Plessis to lead by example and put in a Man of the Match display.
On a less speculative note one would hope for decent enough batting conditions on a pitch was has not been used before and over 530.5 total runs in the match gets the vote.
Total Runs In Match, over 530.5 at 9/10
Man of the Match Faf du Plessis at 10/1