About the Match
Every match is crucial at the closing stages of the World Cup and this is exactly what the case will be when South Africa take on Sri Lanka. The Islanders have had a disappointing tournament so far but the South Africans are fighting for a place in the final 4. Can Sri Lanka pull off an upset and derail the South African challenge?
Anything less than a semi-finals berth for perhaps one of the strongest South African teams in recent memory is going to be seen as a failure. This is why South Africa must ensure there are no more mistakes from their side and hope that one of the front runners will falter.
With 3 wins from 5 matches, South Africa is just a step behind the top four teams all of whom have 4 wins from 5 matches. With lower rung teams like Sri Lanka expected to be beaten by most teams, any team that loses to it will pay a hefty price going into the latter stages of the tournament.
Irrespective of the stakes though, South Africa has an extremely potent side with some world class all-rounders. Skipper Dane van Niekerk has been brilliant with the ball taking 9 wickets, as has been the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world, Marizanne Karp with 9 wickets to her name too.
Shabnim Ismail has bowled with excellent pace and her 6 wickets have helped make this easily the best pace attack of the competition. They have the ability to blow teams away much like they did to the West Indies.
Lizelle Lee has led the batting for South Africa with 253 runs and will once again be expected to take the attack the weak Sri Lankan bowling.
There were hopes that Sri Lanka would be able to transform the huge amount of experience it has in the team into some meaningful results however that has not quite worked out up until now. Sri Lanka is winless from its first 5 games in the tournament and has no chance of making it to the finals.
Their team has lacked any batting firepower apart from Chamari Atapattu who scored a magnificent 178 not out in a losing cause against the Australians. Only the experienced former captain Siriwardene has contributed more than 100 runs with bat with everyone else struggling to make any impact.
The bowling cupboard is similarly bare and only Sreepali Weerakkody has been able to threaten opposition batsmen with regularity. There was a lot expected of Ehasani Lokusuriyage coming into this tournament but she remains wicketless in the tournament up until now.
Sripali Siriwardene is the highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka in their history and will have to conjure up something special if they are to compete in their remaining matches. The Sri Lankan team will have to hope that their spinners can come into play and exploit some of the South African weaknesses otherwise it may well be one-way traffic.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Taunton is batting belter and with the small boundaries of the ground on display, we may be looking at a big total especially if South Africa bats first. The weather has been exceptional in England so far but there has been some rain around in Taunton.
Currently, the forecast shows that a cloudy day with only a 10% chance of rain lies in store.
South Africa to wi