About the Match
Fans around the world gear up for the final week of thrilling contests as the world cup enters the knock-out stage, with South-Africa and Sri Lanka taking on each other in the first quarter-final on 18th March at Sydney. While Sri Lanka came 3rd in Group A with 8 points, South Africa finished second in Group B with equal number of points; the teams will face stiff challenges on Wednesday and players from both sides will be driven to come out all guns blazing. Both sides have had a good run so far but it all comes down to this crucial game, which will decide their fate from here on. The team that can keep up with the pressure and deliver the goods in all departments of the game on the field will surely have an edge and emerge victorious to keep their campaign alive.
While they faced massive defeats against India and Pakistan, which exposed some of their weak links in the batting line-up, the Proteas braced themselves and recovered just in time to make it to the second spot in Group B. AB de Villiers looks very strong with the bat as seen in recent performances and leads the side with great conviction; his all-rounder skills are a threat to any opposition and he will be ready to take on the onslaught of the Lankan bowlers. While Quinton and Amla haven’t yet peaked in the series so far, the middle order seems to be getting stronger with Rilee Rossouw, David Miller, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien contributing to keep the scoreboard ticking and posting massive totals. The bowlers have been effective with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Philander and Imran Tahir being among the wicket-takers on a regular basis; part-timers AB de Villiers and Duminy have also been providing the variety bowling. The team has great talent and experience to give them the edge over the opponents but they must be cautious not to choke under pressure when it matters the most.
The team is composed of greats like Sangakkara, who became the first person in ODI history to score 4 consecutive centuries and also the first man to score 4 hundreds in the world cup; his talent overshadows the skills of the rest of the team but Dilshan, Jayawardene, Chandimal and Angelo Mathews support him with equal determination. They are known for their hard-hitting tactics when batting first and will definitely be eager to put up a big total if given the chance to; the bowlers are equally deadly with Malinga shaping up really well before the knockouts. The young Nuwan Kulasekara has been stifling the opposition run-flow and picking up crucial wickets at regular intervals while Chameera, Perera, Prasanna, Senanayake, Dilshan and the rest contributing equally. During their chase against Australia, the batting line-up crumbled under pressure against the pace attack; they will need to be careful in their strategy and execute the plans to perfection with solid contribution from the entire batting line-up.
It will be a tough match that’s surely set to go down to the wire; both sides have strong match-winners who can turn the game in their favour at any given situation. Although Sri Lanka is known to fight out all odds and survive, we feel that South Africa will finally shine under pressure and emerge victorious on Wednesday.
South Africa, 1.44 @ Bet365