SA v SL, World T20 2016, Group 1, Delhi March 27, 2016

Hurt teams out to salvage pride after early exit


Match facts

March 28, 2016
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)

Play 01:52
Manjrekar: Back South Africa to win this one

Big Picture

There were no visible tears when Sri Lanka were knocked out of the World T20, but to see Angelo Mathews and his men speak, and to read their tweets the next day, there is clearly some hurt. More than one member of the team has expressed a feeling of letting "the whole country down". As doomed as this Sri Lanka campaign had always seemed, pain still struck when failure became tangible. For someone like Mathews, this is the first time in his career the team is exiting a world tournament before the knockouts have begun.

South Africa's exit was not as dramatic as their penultimate-ball loss to New Zealand in the World Cup last year, but they will be no less affected. Players like Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers are into their 30s now, and have limited chances to taste big-tournament glory - particularly now that the World T20 has switched to a four-year cycle. This time, at least, they will be saved the "chokers" tag. Despite their hoard of monumental talents, South Africa just did not get going in this tournament.

As each team attempts to pick itself up to play for pride, South Africa do appear the better team. Sri Lanka's top order did not play seam well against England, which is a weakness the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, and - if he gets a game - Dale Steyn could exploit. With so many South Africans in the IPL now, it is difficult to say which team will be more comfortable in these conditions.

Sri Lanka also have a little more than their self-esteem on the line: they are looking to snap their seven-match losing streak against Full-Member opposition.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

South Africa: LWLLL
Sri Lanka: LLWLL

In the spotlight

In an up-and-down few months for South Africa, Imran Tahir has been among their most consistent performers. He has taken five wickets in his three games this tournament, and was excellent against West Indies, returning figures of 13 for 2. Sri Lanka's right-handers have not fancied legspin in recent months, and what's more, some of the players in this team will have bad memories of last year's World Cup quarter-final in Sydney, which Tahir had excelled in. His bowling may define Sri Lanka's middle overs.

Picked, then dumped, then picked again, Jeffrey Vandersay has come into the side and been perhaps the find of Sri Lanka's woeful tournament. He was outstanding against West Indies, delivering four gripping overs on a turning track. Though his control was slightly wonky in the next match, he still took 2 for 26, and showcased a venomous googly. A third good performance in a row will give the team and its fans hope that the future can be brighter than the present.

Teams news

South Africa may give Farhaan Behardien a match, with Aaron Phangiso also likely to retain his place. David Wiese could be rested.

South Africa (probable) 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis (capt.), 4 Rilee Russouw, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 David Miller, 7 Farhaan Behardien, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Aaron Phangiso, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir.

With Angelo Mathews likely to be ruled out with a hamstring injury and Dushmantha Chameera also having sustained a blow to a finger, both are likely to be left out for the dead rubber. Dinesh Chandimal is the likely replacement captain. Suranga Lakmal and Shehan Jayasuriya are likely to come into the XI.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dinesh Chandimal (wk)(capt.), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Milinda Siriwardana, 4 Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Chamara Kapugedara, 6 Shehan Jayasuriya, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Dasun Shanaka, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Jeffrey Vandersay, 11 Suranga Lakmal

Pitch and conditions

There was a little slowness to the Kotla surface on Saturday evening, but batsmen who had their eye in were also able to play their shots. The weather is not expected to impede play.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa have won three T20Is and lost two against Sri Lanka. Their World T20 head-to-head is even, at 1:1.
  • Of batsmen who only played in the Super 10s stage of the tournament, Quinton de Kock has the third-highest run-tally, of 144 from three innings.
  • This is only the second time in six World T20 tournaments that Sri Lanka missed out on a knockouts spot. The other occasion had been in the inaugural tournament in 2007.


"We've got a lot to play for. You never want to leave the World Cup on a bad note. We are hoping we put things back together and come up with a good victory."

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla

"This year it was helpful for spinners. A lot of spinners have done well - especially the leg-spinners. Though we are out of the competition, we fight hard - that's the Sri Lankan spirit."

Sri Lanka legspinner Jeffrey Vandersay on his own form, and the team's outlook

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jay on March 28, 2016, 14:22 GMT

    @Ratne: Whether you admit it or not, India are a way better side than your club team. The best excuse you can come up with is that your team is in transition. But the funny thing is, you have been in transition for so many years now. Please admit that your next generation of players are not international quality. Peace.

  • Manoj on March 28, 2016, 13:54 GMT

    NZ,WI and Eng deserve to be in semis.

  • Baliggandi on March 28, 2016, 13:49 GMT

    Why srilanka aren't taking Cricket seriously? Their selectors should bring out real talent.

  • Manisha on March 28, 2016, 13:47 GMT

    Srilanka do what India never do. I mean India persist with a set of players for long period of time but Srilanka just merry-go-round with large number of old and new players. Picking in-form, discarding out-of-form looks good but no one is sure of their roles. Their mantra is just bring different characters all bits and pieces like Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardana - mostly they just come and go and come back. Fielding is going down. Only danger players are Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, and bulky Rangana Herath (take special permission from ICC to substitute him on the field 100% of the time). And yes Chameera is going great brings some relief. Need solid pure batsman and pure wicket taking bowlers and fielding specialists. No more 'Indian-style' all-rounders.

  • Sam on March 28, 2016, 13:31 GMT

    Dale Steyn needs to retire. SA are not in a position to blood a new quick and while Steyn retains a place in the squad whilst clearly unfit to play as he has over the last three series it will not be possible. He has been truly a magnificent fast bowler, one of best ever but his body has gone.

  • Cricinfouser on March 28, 2016, 13:29 GMT

    Best of luck to both the teams. They brought flair to this world cup despite their loss. One good thing came out of this WC, the value for this cup has gone a notch time everyone would be ready...hope SA win the next edition

  • Amindha on March 28, 2016, 13:23 GMT

    @memoryliss_rectified , Sl women BEAT sa women so according to your theory SL will lose today .

  • Ajay on March 28, 2016, 13:10 GMT

    @nujsl World cup itself was started in 1975 that is 43 years since India even debuted.. How can India win WC before 1975?? But India won their 3rd WC in 83 beating the best team WI.. And dont bring population always it sounds silly .. It is 11 vs 11 on the field..Infact India with much less per capita income than SL outperforms SL always..

  • TR on March 28, 2016, 13:04 GMT

    SA failed because of their poor bowling, especially Dale Styne. Just watch the highlights on the LINE he bowled in all the matches, especially against England. How many balls he bowled on the pads and got flicked for 4s, with the field set for off-side? He was hit even in last couple of IPLs. I dont know what the root cause for this is, whether he is not fully fit or has gotten old. A bowler does not suddenly under-perform this bad. He must have been observed by the selectors and dropped from the 11 if there was problem. Instead they went by old glory. Of course he is not the only bad bowler for them. In spite of all the failures SA should be able to beat SL who are in much deeper shambles.

  • Aazir on March 28, 2016, 12:44 GMT

    Methiws this for u, u asked Top 20 here we can suggest without Dilshan and Rangana for ODI and T20

    Batting- D.Munnaweera,Lahiru Milantha,,Dinish,Thirrimana,Angelo, Dhanushka,kapugedera,Kushal Perera,Sriwardene,Thisara

    Peace Bowling- Dhammika,Chameera,Rajitha,V.Fernado,B.ferndo,Eranga,Pradeep

    Spin- Vandasy,Tharindhu Kushal,Lakshan,Aponso,akila Dhananjaya

    what do u need anymore ?

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