About the Match
South Africa and Sri Lanka have been knocked out of the tournament after England defeated Sri Lanka by 10 runs; the two teams will now play against each other on 28th March at Delhi before they head back home. They have 2 points each in their kitty and although the upcoming match is a dead rubber, both will try to bow out of the competition with a face-saving win here. While Sri Lanka failed to chase a competitive target of 172 against England, South Africa faced defeat against West Indies after failing to defend a lowly total of 122 runs. It needs to be seen which side can overcome the challenges and emerge victorious on Monday.
Put to bat first, the Proteas failed with the bat and except Quinton de Kock, who scored 47 off 46, others didn’t contribute and they could muster only 122 with help from Wiese and Morris in the lower order. The in-form Windies achieved the target with 2 balls to spare despite Imran Tahir’s brilliant 2-13 and others taking consistent wickets throughout.
Against England, they posted a commendable target of 229 runs thanks to half-centuries scored by openers Amla and Quinton de Kock as well as JP Duminy; David Miller posted a quick fire 28 off 12 to finish the innings with a good score on board. However, the bowlers gave away easy runs which kept the English scoreboard ticking; although Kyle Abbott took 3-41 and Rabada dismissed 2 wickets to cause some worry for the opponents, they failed to defend the total and lost the match by 2 wickets.
They will need to be cautious while facing the Lankan spinners and focus on stabilizing the innings; if chasing a target, they shouldn’t lose early wickets and hold their nerves together to win the match.
It was a do-or-die match against England but the bowlers failed to impress, giving away too many runs; although Vandersay and Herath took 3 wickets between them, the others seemed clueless in trying to stop the run-flow of the opposition. Facing a target of 172 runs, the top-order was outwitted by the English pacers; Mathews played a captain’s knock by posting a brilliant 73 off 54 but fell short by 10 runs. Kapugedera and Perera contributed well but couldn’t cross the finish line.
Against West Indies, the batsmen yet again crumbled under pressure; Perera top-scored with 40 off 29 balls while Mathews contributed with 20 runs but they could muster only 122 runs. Vandersay performed well with the ball, giving away only 11 runs in his 4-over spell and taking a wicket while Siriwardana claimed 2-33; however, the others like Herath, Kulasekara and Chameera were unable to provide any breakthroughs, losing the match by 7 wickets in the end.
The top-order batsmen like Dilshan, Chandimal and Thirimanne must come out all guns blazing whether batting first or during chase; although the middle order has many all-rounders, they need to focus on stabilizing the innings. Sri Lanka has a good balance in spin and pace attack but they must strategize well against the South African batting line-up, which runs deep and strong.
The two teams have nothing to lose here and will play for their honor before returning home; the contest could go either way but we feel South Africa will come back stronger to win the match