From top dogs to scrapping for leftover pride: South Africa take on Sri Lanka for their final World T20 match
Already out of the semi-final race, both South Africa and Sri Lanka will strive to end their ICC World Twenty 20 campaign on a winning note when they clash against each other in an inconsequential Super 10 Group 1 clash, in New Delhi on Monday.
New Delhi: Already out of the semi-final race, both South Africa and Sri Lanka will strive to end their ICC World Twenty 20 campaign on a winning note when they clash against each other in an inconsequential Super 10 Group 1 clash, in New Delhi on Monday.
It was England that knocked both the teams out of the tournament with their 10-run victory over Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Saturday night.
England's narrow win meant that they along with the West Indies were identified as semi-finalists from Group 1.
A win for Sri Lanka would have kept the group open for three teams but England poured water on their hopes with their superlative show.
Sri Lanka had never started as one of the contenders in this prestigious event but for Proteas getting eliminated at group stage is a harsh result, considering that their side was packed with phenomenal players.
The script has gone horribly wrong for the Proteas after two defeats in three matches.
More than anything it was their defeat against England in the opening match that hurt South Africa the most.
Failing to defend a mammoth 229 for four was a result that put them in a position where they were left to catch up with other teams.
Even a team like Afghanistan managed to scare the Proteas before they lost to West Indies.
They have been the the only team in the tournament so far that has scored over 200 twice but still struggled to win.
For Sri Lanka, retirement of their stars players, injury to regilate T20 skipper Lasith Malinga and no-show by established pros such as Tillakaratne Dilshan just compounded their woes.
Like South Africa, their only win also came against minnows Afghanistan.
It is a huge task for Angelo Mathews now to rebuild the team. Mathews and Thisaara Perera have been there in the side for a long time but the top-order could never gave them a platform to build.
The emergence of young paceman Dushmantha Chameera is a good sign but they need more firepower in both batting and bowling departments.
The pitch at Feroze Shah Kotla ground has always been a difficult one for the batsmen. Strokemaking is far from easy and batsmen must spend some time before trying to open their arms. The ball grips and does not come on to bat.
Since Sri Lanka have played here on Saturday, they surely have a better idea about the conditions. But they are up against wounded lions, who would come pouncing on them.
Now that nothing is at stake, Sri Lanka too have license to play freely. Skipper Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera and Thisara Perera did exactly that against England and had almost pulled off the win.
If they can repeat their gritty performance, they will take with them a lot of confidence from the event.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese.
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