South Africa v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 21, 2014

Battle of the perennial bridesmaids

116

Match facts

March 22, 2014, Chittagong
Start time 1930 (1330GMT)

Big Picture

South Africa have not won a knock-out match at an ICC event in 16 years, since they lifted the Champions Trophy in 1998. Sri Lanka have reached three tournament finals in the last four years, two in World T20s, and lost all of them. The pair of perennial bridesmaids are lining up to see if one of them catch the bouquet this time.

Sri Lanka are among the favourites to do it. They have a good all-round squad and some of this format's headline players. This is also the last tournament for their two longest-serving batsmen. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will retire from Twenty20 internationals at the tournament and there will be no better way than to send them off with a trophy.

For a change, South Africa are not among the picks to win. Middling form in limited-overs cricket despite being the top-ranked Test team in the world, and embarrassing exists at the 2012 World T20, in which they lost all three Super Eight matches and the Champions Trophy, where they were bundled out in the semi-final by England, has seen them lose ground. But South Africans remain hopeful that on day their fortunes at major tournaments will change.

Both had two warm-up games, Sri Lanka lost one to West Indies and beat India. South Africa stuttered but recovered to beat Bangladesh A and rolled Pakistan. Not much can be read into that. A clearer idea of how these teams stack up will be known after their first game. South Africa have the recent edge over Sri Lanka having won a series against them, but at the end of the day it will boil down to which bridesmaid can reach up higher, beyond what they thought they could, to try and hold on this time.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
South Africa LLLWW
Sri Lanka WWWLW

Watch out for

When South Africa beat Sri Lanka in T20 series in their own backyard last August JP Duminy was the leading run-scorer. He amassed 132 runs in the three matches and scored two half-centuries. Duminy's promise with the bat is well-known and he is starting to fulfill it as expected but he has since developed another aspect of his game as well. Although referred to as nothing more than a part-time bowler, Duminy made a reputation for being a partnership breaker with the ball. With scalps in the warm-ups, he has proved he can be a threat in these conditions as well and his all-round ability will be what South Africa banks on in this tournament.

With Duminy making headlines as only a secondary spinner, it's hardly a surprise that Sri Lanka's tweakers will be the players to keep an eye on. The talk leading up to this tournament has been mostly about turn, especially where a side like South Africa is concerned. Despite having astute players of spin like Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers in their side, South Africa are perceived to struggle in the subcontinent and their ODI series defeat to Sri Lanka last year did not help that. The opening match may well be decided on who wins the battle between Sri Lanka's spinners and South Africa's batsmen.

Team news

South Africa are sweating over the fitness of their captain Faf du Plessis and their pace spearhead, Dale Steyn, both of whom are carrying hamstring injuries. They will have fitness tests on the morning of the game but it seems unlikely du Plessis will play. He batted in the nets the day before the match but running was a problem. If he misses out, AB de Villiers will lead in his absence and Farhaan Behardien will bat up the order. Steyn has been bowling in practice but South Africa may not to risk him if he is not 100%. That will leave their attack with two left-armers in Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell (or Beuran Hendricks as an outside chance), one specialist spinner in Imran Tahir and Duminy as an additional option.

South Africa: 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis/Farhaan Behardien, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Wayne Parnell/Dale Steyn 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Imran Tahir

Sri Lanka will likely to stick to a familiar XI which will see Kusal Perera open with Tillakaratne Dilshan and a four-seam, two frontline spin attack. The only uncertainty is whether they will opt for Ajantha Mendis or Rangana Herath. Both bowled in Sri Lanka's defence of 153 against India and while Mendis took a wicket, Herath was more economical.

Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachitra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis/Rangana Herath

Pitch and conditions

Before South Africa left Dhaka on Thursday, one of the first things Russell Domingo said they would be aware of was that conditions in Chittagong would be different so adapting would be key. He was right. A grassy track, which promises to be quicker than initially thought, greeted the teams which could mean less of a spin factor first up. There is also expected to less chance of dew because the match is being played in the afternoon. Clear skies are forecast with temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees.

Stats and Trivia

  • South Africa and Sri Lanka have only played four T20 matches against each other, all in Sri Lanka. The first was at the World T20 in 2012. That fixture was reduced to seven overs a side and South Africa won by 32 runs. South Africa also won two of the other three matches.
  • Jayawardene is second on the all-time list of T20 run-scorers and Sangakkara is fourth. It's unlikely either will catch Brendon McCullum before they retire. Jayawardene is 624 runs behind and Sangakkara 648 runs off the pace.

Quotes

"They have good spinners and it will be crucial how we play spin. Luckily the wicket, doesn't seem like it has too much spin. But also they have got other danger bowlers. Malinga is a dangerous T20 bowler and they have other match winners."
Faf du Plessis is wary of the spin threat Sri Lanka poses

"They played some really good cricket in Sri Lanka so we never underestimate any team."
But Dinesh Chandimal believes South Africa can match up to his tweakers

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 23, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    If SL win last 4 finals , this team would have been one of the greatest in history of cricket. but failure doesn't make them worse either. It reveal depth of the team. old school learning - mark of a true champion is to get back up and comeback again. when every one write off tiny island , they denigrate all obstacles and continue to amaze me " you fail a fight the moment you gave it up " . all this ' bride made stuff ' just stereotype thinking. it doesn't define true strength of Lankan team.

  • dineshjethi on March 22, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    SL and SA both will start on equal footing but SL has an edge in these conditions. The key to SL success is their spinners and SA obviously has no answers to them. So head says SL but my heart goes to SA.

  • Yousufahmed1 on March 22, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    Chandimal completed his job for the match "going out for a toss".

  • Bdcricketdebator on March 22, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Srilankan fans should not think they are going to prey sa easilly.chittagong wicket is different from what you saw in last month.the wicket has lots of pace and movement.it could turn the other way in favour of sa.but i wish srilanka wins.good luck.

  • IndianCoolGuy on March 22, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Lucky sl is facing SA without dale stayn and duplisis and Enjoying lucky group as well. All the best SA.

  • on March 22, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    My playing 11 with batting order againt SA: 1.Kusal 2.Dili 3.Sanga 4.Chandi 5.Mathews 6.Mahela 7.Seekuge 8.Perera 9.Sachi 10.Herath/Mendis 11.Malinga

  • 3ddy on March 22, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    head says srilanka heart says south africa

    i like both teams though but south africa is my fav team after my own team (pak) obv

  • Dr.Lakson on March 22, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Tagging both SA and SL as perennial bridesmaids is bit unfair. In the case of SA they have never won any ICC KOs where as SL has won most except the Finals!

  • Venki_indian on March 22, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    SL is hot favourite in this world cup, they are very lucky to be in such a easy group.

  • Blade-Runner on March 22, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Thisara Perera has always been a key performer for Sri Lanka against South Africa. He just loves taking SA bowlers to the cleaners. If SA play 2 spinners, Thisara should be brought up in the batting order. SA pacers don't bother him either as I remember in our last encounter with SA, Thisara walloped Parnell for 18 runs in an over. GO SRI LANKA !!!

  • on March 23, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    If SL win last 4 finals , this team would have been one of the greatest in history of cricket. but failure doesn't make them worse either. It reveal depth of the team. old school learning - mark of a true champion is to get back up and comeback again. when every one write off tiny island , they denigrate all obstacles and continue to amaze me " you fail a fight the moment you gave it up " . all this ' bride made stuff ' just stereotype thinking. it doesn't define true strength of Lankan team.

  • dineshjethi on March 22, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    SL and SA both will start on equal footing but SL has an edge in these conditions. The key to SL success is their spinners and SA obviously has no answers to them. So head says SL but my heart goes to SA.

  • Yousufahmed1 on March 22, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    Chandimal completed his job for the match "going out for a toss".

  • Bdcricketdebator on March 22, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Srilankan fans should not think they are going to prey sa easilly.chittagong wicket is different from what you saw in last month.the wicket has lots of pace and movement.it could turn the other way in favour of sa.but i wish srilanka wins.good luck.

  • IndianCoolGuy on March 22, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Lucky sl is facing SA without dale stayn and duplisis and Enjoying lucky group as well. All the best SA.

  • on March 22, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    My playing 11 with batting order againt SA: 1.Kusal 2.Dili 3.Sanga 4.Chandi 5.Mathews 6.Mahela 7.Seekuge 8.Perera 9.Sachi 10.Herath/Mendis 11.Malinga

  • 3ddy on March 22, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    head says srilanka heart says south africa

    i like both teams though but south africa is my fav team after my own team (pak) obv

  • Dr.Lakson on March 22, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Tagging both SA and SL as perennial bridesmaids is bit unfair. In the case of SA they have never won any ICC KOs where as SL has won most except the Finals!

  • Venki_indian on March 22, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    SL is hot favourite in this world cup, they are very lucky to be in such a easy group.

  • Blade-Runner on March 22, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Thisara Perera has always been a key performer for Sri Lanka against South Africa. He just loves taking SA bowlers to the cleaners. If SA play 2 spinners, Thisara should be brought up in the batting order. SA pacers don't bother him either as I remember in our last encounter with SA, Thisara walloped Parnell for 18 runs in an over. GO SRI LANKA !!!

  • Herath-UK on March 22, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    Wish a comprehensive win for Sri Lanka. It has undisputed T20 No one bowler & a great team. All the Best!

  • on March 22, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    biggggh victory ahead and we are waiting for...

  • on March 22, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    I think what Chris Silva is suggesting is incorrect. However, there were some theories that in the WC final against India, the older Sri Lankan players were unmotivated due to disputes with the board and they did not play with the team in mind. Instead, to send out a message to the board, they made India's job a lot easier. Again, these are just theories and speculations coming from unverified sources. I agree completely though that all the other finals were lost by a measure of skill on the day.

  • ratul_IBA on March 22, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    its very important for kusal to give the lankans a good start...and chandi needs to step up...can not bank on sanga and mahela all the time....my 11 is....1.mahela2.kusal.3.dilshan 4.sanga.5.chandi...6.angelol...7.thisara..8kula..9.malinga.10..mendis..11..prasanna

  • warneneverchuck on March 22, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Lol someone said sl is competitive then y they have never won a test in india or aus. No major title like champ trophy or 20 20 wc or OdI wc since 1996 which we all know how they won it

  • on March 22, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Everybody has his own idea,that is the nature of the world.Without that type of rhythm , the world becomes a barren land of empty minds.Therefore don't insult for other nations,players.Try to respect them.Nobody can earn respect without giving respect to others.All are born in the same world and at one day, all of them have to leave the world.That is the noble truth.Please enjoy it.

  • anoop3301 on March 22, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    @SL_Fan_1985: As per you, the term competitor seems to mean "some one who participates in a major tournament , comes with high and unrealistic expectations and goes back with empty hands". If that is the case, SL is indeed a great competitor.. lol..participated in every single World T20 (2007,2009,2010,2012). They are also participating in 2014.. Since you mentioned all finals were" Sl vs Qualifier", we would back even Netherlands to win against SL, if these 2 teams are playing in the finals.. lol..

  • Cricdew on March 22, 2014, 7:36 GMT

    @SL_Fan_1985 ......History always remembered who comes first.Nobody bothered about second..lol

  • on March 22, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    Death over batting wil b da key for SA. Malinga & the party r best in the business!!

  • on March 22, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    all the best lions ... we r waiting for big big victory .....

  • SL_Fan_1985 on March 22, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @Vinay Parisa > Hey frn....you don't bother about that. SL failed at finals...It s totally Okey to us...bt wt abut others? even thrashed away in semis, first round... SL is great competitor..2007,2009,2011,2012.....All finals were SL vs QUALIFIER...!! Lol....

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    SA will be the winners if Steyn and du plessis play,otherwise my favorite is SL

  • anoop3301 on March 22, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    @Chris Silva: " SL have won many a tournaments and have been denied of a few major trophies through no fault of their own" Can you please elaborate on these trophies. I can't find any apart from World Cup 1996.

    "We know how India won the last World cup ODI?" India won because they outplayed SL. The toss had to be redone due to foxy Sanga and SL won it the 2nd time. So they had the opportunity to use the best of the conditions. If your team stops whining and starts improving its performances, there is a chance to win major ICC trophies as India has done.

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    I love your articles Firdose Moonda!!

  • ViratDevilliersFan on March 22, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    come on saffers..go n tharash the mediocre team lanka... i got a feeling dekock gonna be the highst scorer..good luck saffers..we indians always love u specially devilliers.. my 2nd fav team,, go saffers go

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    watch out for Q de Kock , he is a talent.last ball thrill on the way..

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    @Chris Silva, you must be kidding. I like Srilanka team but they lost all the key games due to exceptional performance by other teams. WC 2007 final, they lost because of Adam Gilchrist, In 2009 T20, It was Afridis Magic, In 2011 WC final, they batted first and got best of the conditions but Indian batting line up was too strong. What fair conditions are you talking about, dust bowls where murali can spin and win like all the test matches SL won?

  • harnav5 on March 22, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how DeKock plays against SL spinners. AB De villeirs will be the key for SA

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    australia lost every match they played

  • hamza893 on March 22, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    As a Pakistani fan ,I do not know which team to support. My first choice will be SL but when I see flamboyant AB, Steyn gun and stroke back foot Amla ,three of my fav players ,my heart says that they will thrash SL.Patiently waiting AB to bat to is class.In Today's cricket ,AB is one player who is a treat to watch.

    Steyn is in the form of his life ,SL you guys are in trouble ,I must say that.If the bat of Miller start making runs then its all over for SL

    I hope Sa do not choke and the best team wins and the match be played in true spirit.

    A cricket lover from Pakistan:)

  • on March 22, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    All talk before play. Just look at the two teams and their present performance. SL have always been in the limelight. They have won many a tournaments and have been denied of a few major trophies through no fault of their own. We have not forgotten the world cup ODI's in SA when SL had to play in the rain. In WI SL had to play in the dark when they had a rain day the day after?. We know how India won the last World cup ODI?. Just give the teams and the players the opportunity to do their best under fair conditions to all. Enjoy the game of cricket not snide remarks at each other. Every persons likes to hear and know their own team is going to do well. That is natural.

  • binu.emiliya on March 22, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    David Miller is the man! I think he is key for SA

  • anoop3301 on March 22, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    Watching Chandimal bat against Tahir and Phangiso would be fun. Ordinary batsman against mediocre spinners(?).. lol..

  • ISB_ACC on March 22, 2014, 5:51 GMT

    AB vs. Malinga.... Styne vs. Kusal..... Sanga vs. Mokel... OMG what will be the result??:??:?:?:??:

  • ISB_ACC on March 22, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    This will be the best match of the carnival...... Coz Two big guns are on the park

  • ISB_ACC on March 22, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Styne vs Kusal??????? Watch out for a BIG SIX

  • Charindra on March 22, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    It is ridiculous that Chandimal is taking up a spot in the team just because he's captain. He's a horrible T20 player and on top of that is woefully out of form. What were the selectors thinking????

  • anoop3301 on March 22, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: Indian pacers were sufficient for you in Durban T20 match 2007. We don't even need spinners to thrash you in do or die matches. And guess what, on your statement on "Sri Lanka plays spin well", only if Tahir or Phangiso are the spinners.

  • milepost on March 22, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Australia will win the World Cup so this game is irrelevant.

  • on March 22, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    Kusal and Dilshan must give a good start and things will be easier then. If we bat first should cross 175 mark and should bowl out SA around 140 if ball first. Hope Chandimal will contribute handsomely not only because he is out of form but for god sake he is the captain. All the best Lions hope to see a good match.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on March 22, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    It's interesting Over-Hyped SL fans talking like they win T20WC. Same as Players. So now it's time to prove their thoughts in action. Up to now Over-Confident teams thrown out from this WC. AFG,ZIM,IRE Hope it will not happened to SL.at least go to Semi Final

  • NextSana on March 22, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    @Greatest_Game It is against Bangladesh A team man not the Bangladesh team. They were playing in the qualifying round at that time.

  • on March 22, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    srilanka do have the Yorker specialist malinga but remember when ab @ the other end any bowler doesn't Matter ., he ll put them in the stands. . I remember ab taking malinga on @ many occasions... if sl get ab cheaply (very unlikely) ...sl have a chance.. I don't think spin will be the concern

  • dilshanSL on March 22, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    My team is 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Chandimal 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kula 9.Sachitra 10.Herath 11.Malinga

  • on March 22, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Great to see SA as the under dogs. That is when they are at their best.

  • lazyone on March 22, 2014, 4:44 GMT

    SL is not gonna play their best XI until the captain chadimal is there. Inform Thirimanne has to be dropped because chandimal is the captain. Let's see what happens.

  • on March 22, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    SL is very good allround balanced team. they strongly need some heavyweight performance from new comers.

  • SubContinentFan on March 22, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    By the looks of it, SL has a better chance of winning this one. But with SA, you never know.

  • on March 22, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    SL is better side compared to SA , mahela and sanga difinaetly will be the key to win all the best for SL GO LIONES GO

  • autocruise on March 22, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Well what i think is as long as chandimal is in the SL team the team is not balanced.. that might cost the match.. Mathews can easily bat at No 5 and followed by thisara perara and rest because this is just 20 overs.. and it gives the luxury of adding another allrounder or a bowler or if u really need a batsman get someone who can score some runs.. Having Chandimal is a waste of a spot .. Dont even feel like watching the when such a person is a Captian of a side who doesnt deserve a place..

  • YsaKaru on March 22, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    waiting for thriller!!!!!!!!!!!! hopefully we (sl) win this easily.......only weak point in our line up is CAP. CHANDIMAL.....plz drop him and bring back thirimanne in.GOOD LUCK FOR OUR LANKAN BOYS!!!!!!!!

  • on March 22, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    Sri Lanka should pull thi one up. Even though the track does not support spinners, still SL have 4 fast bowlers.

  • chandimasl on March 22, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    It is very umportant to play with 3 spinners for sl.and it shoul note that sa is playing very well against mendis.so the 3 spinners should be senanayake,herath and prasanna.

    And also the worrying factor is dilshan and chandimal is in very poor form.if thirimanna is not getting the chance because of dilshan it can not be accepted.both chandimal and dilshan do not deserve a place in the team.but it is up to the selectors to decide.

  • Spirit_of_Cricket_II on March 22, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka should drop Dilshan and promote Mahela to be an opener. Should play three spinners as this match will be played in the afternoon so that there wont be dew as much. my team is, 1. KP 2. MJ 3. KS 4. DC 5.AM 6. LT 7.TP 8.SP 9. SS 10. AM/RH 11. LM

  • on March 22, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Always we have the problem with chasing a score in T20, we not win lot of matches by big chases. we need to improve that ability and Thisara should play as all rounder. Better not to give him the last overs. But he is a good employ in the middle overs. Mathews should bowl and we need a good start to the toulament with both the openers. all the best guys lets make this count

  • cjchanaka on March 22, 2014, 2:26 GMT

    I think we should play with mendis instead of herath.Dilshan's form will be a major concern,specially we need a solid rapid opening start when we are chasing 160+ scores.If dilshan is in trouble mahela can easily replace him.Thirimanne should be in the team in the place of chandimal.Winning chances SL-:60%,SA-:40%.GO LIONS................-:)

  • ISB_ACC on March 22, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    Ooooops...... sri lanka is the no 1 t20 side in the world.. They the winners of t20 world cup 2014 & this is the first step of it.........

  • on March 22, 2014, 1:31 GMT

    send Tisara Perera at No. 5. Not no. 8

  • disco_bob on March 21, 2014, 23:38 GMT

    @wapuser "Toss will be key", meaning what exactly? That you need to win the toss in order to er bat first or bowl first, or do you need to lose the toss in order to have a ready made excuse? With luck SA will win the toss and then after they lose, which seems likely considering their recent precipitous decline, we will see that the toss was not in fact the key.

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on March 21, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Yes ,S.Lanka is looking very strong team . They can beat SA easily because these wickets are very slow ones .So SL has a plus point .If DALE come in final 11 then he can make some difference .but he prefers to play IPL matches ...Any way lets see a good game .....good luck ...

  • Shongololo on March 21, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    Moonda does a disservice to every bridesmaid past, present and future to describe South Africa as a perennial bridesmaid. We mostly don't even get an invite to the wedding, when we do we tend to lose the invitation and end up a virtual no-show and on the rare occasions when we do get to the church, we invariably sit in the back pew, far, far from the bridal party.

  • BanglaTigerss on March 21, 2014, 22:14 GMT

    SA will win this match. They have better team.

  • on March 21, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Two even teams.... Team that performs best will win the match....

  • JoshFromJamRock on March 21, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    I'm backing Sri Lanka for this one. But a few changes could be made to make them even more dominant in the match.

    For the batting they should let Mahela and Dilsan open and allow Sanga to anchor at #3. If the team is 90 for 1 by the 12th over they should promote Thisara Perera and Matthews for the acceleration. I don't fancy having Chandimal at the crease when the rate needs to be upped.

    For the bowling its best they pick three spinners in Mendis, Herath and Senanayake with Matthews and Malinga as seamers. South Africa is a non-asian team playing on a subcontinental pitch so spin is the way too go against them. Only AB, Duminy and Miller are good slog sweepers.

  • dunger.bob on March 21, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    If there's any swing around Kulaskera should find it. I'm a fan of his bowling after he destroyed us in Au. a year or so ago. If there's any spin Herath and co will find that. I also think SL has batsmen better adapted to the conditions. .. So, it's clear. South Africa to win this one.

  • SLMaster on March 21, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    Expecting a good game !!!!!!!!!!

  • on March 21, 2014, 20:48 GMT

    Kushal, Dilshan, Mahela and sangakarra can't do anything against powerful Steyn and magical morne morkel. South Africa has the better edge over Sri lanka. Albie morkel a powerful hitter in the late innings. Go Go Go South Africa.

    From an Indian Fan

  • Albert_cambell on March 21, 2014, 20:43 GMT

    I think we Should play both spinners Phangiso and Tahir for Tomorrows game. After Watching Pakistani batsman Struggling against mediocre spinners, it wont be a Bad idea to play with 2 spinners. I know SL players play spin very well. But we should not think about the opponents strength and weakness. The pitch made those average indian spinners look like world class spinners. My team 1.Amla 2. De kock 3. Duminy 4. AB 5. Miller 6. Beherdeen/Faf(If fit)7. Albie 8. Parnell 9. Tahir 10. Steyn(If fit)/Phangiso 11. Morkel

  • vivek_khyati on March 21, 2014, 20:37 GMT

    the match start time is not 19:30, but 15:30.. srilanka has an upper hand as they have a more potent bowling attack. but, if they fail to get rid of amla/abd soon, they can be in trouble.

  • on March 21, 2014, 20:30 GMT

    SL should open with Mahela and use Dilshan as a lower middle order batsmen, he can. bowl some overs as well, drop Chandimal for god sake and don't give the ball to Thisara

  • YsaKaru on March 21, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    waiting for thriller!!!!!!!!!!!! hopefully we (sl) win this easily.......only weak point in our line up is CAP. CHANDIMAL.....plz drop him and bring back thirimanne.GOOD LUCK FOR OUR LANKAN BOYSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

  • Kumail_Asadi on March 21, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    Hello , dont say SA Chokers, tomorrow u will see and also soon u will see SA with winning trophy of 2014 WC. Wellwisher from Pakistan

  • KBCA on March 21, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    I dont understand how that Berhardein guy is in the SA squad, seen him play a few times and he just seems like a lucky club player. Am i missing something?

  • ramz30380 on March 21, 2014, 19:59 GMT

    "Battle of the perennial bridesmaids" Perfect title cricinfo... really admire the way u guys phrase it sometimes!

    SL is coming into the match after getting pelted by WI and SA after pelting Pakistan (even w/o steyn playing) in the warm-ups. We know that we cant read too much into the warm ups but on tht note if u see - SA stand favorites.

    But in SC conditions SL has the upper hand...after watching Netherlands vs Ireland - we can never say anything till the last ball is bowled! So all the best both sides - may the best side win! Plz offer us some entertainment - let it not be a one sided affair like the Ind-Pak game!

  • SandipManjrekar on March 21, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    The best combination after Oz would be Proteas & even without the services of Steyn & Faf. After watching practice game against PAK, I have no hesitation in my minds that SA would be the first team to qualify for semis irrespective of talks about their weaknesses on SC pitches. On the other hand SL is better on such pitches but they didn't look as clinical as seen before. They are banking on Senanayake & Mendis probably but SA has Hashim/De Cock/AB/Duminy. In addition to that they are coming fresh from playing much competitive cricket against Oz. I would say 80:20 in favor of SA.

  • SamWintson92 on March 21, 2014, 19:54 GMT

    My Teams:

    SOU XI: (Ruling Du Plessis & Steyn out due to injury) 1 De Kock (WK) 2 Amla 3 De Villiers (C) 4 Duminy 5 Miller 6 A Morkel 7 Behardein (If Du Plessis isn't fit. If Du Plessis plays, Du Plessis will bat at 3) 8 Parnell 9 M Morkel 10 Hendricks (If Steyn isn't fit) 11 Tahir.

    SL XI: (Open with Jayawardene. Dilshan at 3) 1 K Perera 2 Jayawardene 3 Dilshan 4 Sangakkara (WK) 5 Chandimal (C) 6 Matthews 7 T Perera 8 Kulasekara 9 Senanayake 10 Mendis 11 Malinga.

  • Iceman29 on March 21, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Hahah...love the title..a very fitting one indeed....

  • Kappa69 on March 21, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Been a SRILANKAN national but a SOUTH AFRICAN DIE HRAD FAN, No better feeling than this match. #PROTEAFORLIFE

  • on March 21, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Sorry this broken english guys / please share this / Chandimal must see

    Chandimal Please don't play t20 (2014) matches, because your not suitable for Sri Lanka team. We need to win the tournament man. check ur statistic u want fit man.

    Matches: 23 Innings: 19 Total Runs: 254 HS: 56 Average: 13.36 S/R: 92.36 100s: 0 50: 1

    Can you please tell me how you can captain my country. We have very intelligent selectors.

  • Masking_Tape on March 21, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    Just an FYI, SL is undefeated in Bangladesh this year. They will try to do their best to win the next 6 games and give perfect send off to Sanga and Mahela from t20.

  • Srini_Indian on March 21, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Hopefully SA wins this. Though it is a WC match and SA are proven chokers, I just feel SA have good chance to win this match.

  • CheerforUnderdogs on March 21, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    SL will win this one... unless there is an exceptional individual performance from SA...

  • on March 21, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    please don't give ball to thisara at death and power plays! he is worst bowler Sl having! I want we go with 3 spinners! Hope mahela will open inning because dilshan is out of form

  • missionbegins2011 on March 21, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    SA will pulverize SL easliy. No chance for SL...

  • on March 21, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Love you south Africa<3333 inshallah we vl win! De kock and ABd vl blast dem!!

  • on March 21, 2014, 17:53 GMT

    easy win for srilanka

  • harryShamim on March 21, 2014, 17:51 GMT

    All the best Sri Lanka...From a Pakistani fan.....

  • GermanPlayer on March 21, 2014, 17:27 GMT

    Funny SriLanka suppoters reminding eveyrone that SA are chokers. They've forgoten that almost always SA has ben a class above the other teams in the group stages and these are group stages!

  • Srilanka-rules on March 21, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Hope this time we will be champions. And they shud play Thirimanna

  • screamingeagle on March 21, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    SA bats first, its curtains for the Lankans. Else, might prove interesting.

  • Greatest_Game on March 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT

    @ Hg1987 asked "perennial bridesmaids? I'm sorry when did the last time SA qualify for a finals ?"

    Presuming you mean ICC knockout tournaments, the answer would be 1998, when SA won the 1st Champions Trophy, in Bangladesh.

  • on March 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    All the best Sri lanka....!

  • creebo777 on March 21, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    We need to rotate the strike really well against the spinners , last time we toured Sri Lanka we struggled , hope steyn is ready to go , de kock should be aggressive in the powerplay , also want to see an aggressive morne morkel no more Mr nice guy

  • Tambapani on March 21, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    The question of perennial bridesmaids does not apply to Sri Lanka as she was married once in 1996 and hence has some experience of the pitfalls of marital life- this gives Sri Lanka a small but undeniable edge!

  • Greatest_Game on March 21, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    @ Matt.au wrote "I guess Áravindá Lakdeep is talking about the here and now, not ... 6 months ago. ... SL beat SA in the last game played between the two teams. That game was played in SL."

    My apologies - you are 100% correct. SL did beat SA in the 3rd & last game of their series.

    I guess if Áravindá Lakdeep is referring to a specific time period, he should say so.

    In the here & now - the tournament warmups - SL beat India by 5 runs, but lost to WI by 33 runs. SA beat beat Pakistan by 8 wickets, 36 balls remaining, & beat Bang by 5 wickets, 9 balls remaining. Comparably, SA beat Bang by a much greater margin than did SL in their 2 wins against Bang a month ago, in Bang. Those results were wins by 2 runs, and by 7 wickets, 0 balls remaining.

    In the comparable, here and now - all matches played within the last month and played in Bangladesh - SA actually has the better record. I guess Áravindá Lakdeep did not take that into account either when claiming, "SL are far better than SA!"

  • Sandasiri_Asitha on March 21, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    Should drop either Chandimal or Dilshan to make a place for in-form Thirimanne. Lakmal is also proving a point ahead of Kulasekara in dead bawling. Kulasekara bawling Vs WI is very poor. too many full toss. He is more a batsmen in T20's.

  • on March 21, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    I hope ..till the last ball it will be a big fight..cant say whos better from both the side, coze after you watch todays match.....its clear......!!!!

  • crick_sucks on March 21, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    It should be a easy win for SL. SA the chokers are a no bet.

  • on March 21, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    naked _cricket..your absolutely right. mahela should open the innings.I HAVE CHECKED MAHELAS RECORD AS a opener..its fantastic...even i watched two practice matches of SL...Dilshan is not in gud touch..If SL cricket board is considering performances of recent past tournament,consider THRIMANNA performances AS WELL..never give ball to thisara..please..remove chandimal too..try to play with 03 spinners much as possible..wait for result tomorrow match & if dilshan did not performed,send him home ,bring chathuranga de silva..we are lack of all rounder who can ball..please publish

  • on March 21, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    rest the captain win the match lions

  • Greatest_Game on March 21, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    @ Naked_Cricket asks "Greatest_Game ; Where have you been. SL beat SA ODI Series SL won 4:1"

    Perhaps you have not noticed that this is a T20 competition? It is called the World T20. There are no ODIs being played.We are not talking about ODIs, we are talking about T20 cricket. If we start talking about ODIs, should we be talking about test cricket too? Should we bring in the Women's cricket too?

    Stick to the topic. T20 cricket.

  • RuwanFer on March 21, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    @Naked_Cricket You are the man. Until I saw ur comment I thought this is the T20 WC. Greatest_Game must have been thinking the same.. Oh wait..

  • DiamondSoul on March 21, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    I am a Sri lankan But i do think this is a 50 50 game.Sri lanka are running with confidence due to their recent form and their 100% fit squad , bt their seniors expected some mentality downfall with the sudden collision with cricket board.even other members as well. meantime SA had a whitewash against aussies as well. so the case might be opened up 50:50. both these sides are evenly matched ,Amla playing Jayawardena's role,Kusal playind de cock's roll and presently AB and Sanga are 2 of the best considered talents of the world. both have savior all rounders Mathews,Perera,Duminy,Tsotsobe. comparatively SL may have the advantage of thisara than SA. Malinga is evenly matched with Morkel and Tahir with Herath. let's see how it continues wish u both the teams! If a correct plan is executed with the resources SL have got they have the best chance of winning the entire trophy not only this match. gd luck to both teams. hope sanga won't play at 4 and return to no.3

  • Naked_Cricket on March 21, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    Play Thirimanna . Don't let bowl to Thisara. Bring Mahela as opener with Kusal . Drop Chandimal . Ball one over with Malinga in begging . If t hing go well bring him back . Senanayaka, Mendis can ball in Powerplays . Then Bring Nuwan Kulasekara . Kill the phase of the ball . SL can Win .

  • on March 21, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    If Kusal finds some touch, it will surely be a lankan game. Still SL is far better. Hope for the best

  • DwightR on March 21, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    1. please do not compare SA with SL in tournaments...SL have played in the finals of the World T20 in 09 & 12 and World Cup in 07 & 11, thats 4 straight finals vs SA's pathetic performance when the pressure is on. It is an insult to Sri Lankan's. 2. This is the perfect playing XI for SL- would play Mendis as the spinner or even consider dropping Senanayake and play both Mendis & Herath. but overall strong XI and motivated side as it is Dilshans, Mahela & Sanga's swan song for T20

  • on March 21, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Toss will be key , and honestly Sa needs to buck up to win against SL . keeping my fingers crossed . let's do it boys .. Come on proteas ...

  • anoop3301 on March 21, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    South Africa looks the better team to me. However, as history suggests,victory may not mean they will progress further.

  • Matt.au on March 21, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    @Greatest_Game

    I guess Áravindá Lakdeep is talking about the here and now, not results from 6 months ago.

    Your statement "SL have lost all 3 matches in which they have played SA played at home." is incorrect. SL beat SA in the last game played between the two teams. That game was played in SL.

  • on March 21, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    hashim amla is a good batsman. but I've never seen him but in a t20 match! I think SA have a good team but being honest SL have a much better balanced team. After their awesome run in Bangladesh in the recent times SL will be the favourites to win the match. but all that being said cricket specially t20 is unpredictable

  • Naked_Cricket on March 21, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game ; Where have you been. SL beat SA ODI Series SL won 4:1

    In SA , at there home SL lost By 2:3

    Who Played better cricket . And better cricket @ home .

  • tinkertinker on March 21, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    How can a team that has never even finished 2nd be "perennial bridesmaid"

  • Greatest_Game on March 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    @ Áravindá Lakdeep believes that "Hashim Amla is not good enough to open in a t20 side. Other than that they are a good team. But SL are far better than them."

    I guess the simple question is if "SL are far better than SA," why could SL not beat SA, at home in a series in Sri Lanka? Surely if SL are far better, they would actually beat South Africa? SL have lost all 3 matches in which they have played SA played at home.

  • Hg1987 on March 21, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    perennial bridesmaids? I'm sorry when did the last time SA qualify for a finals ?

  • on March 21, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    I think Hashim Amla is not good enough to open in a t20 side. Other than that they are a good team. But SL are far better than them.

  • jerryman on March 21, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    I think it would be better to play 3 spinners in mendis,herath & sena. TP may have to be rested. I would prefer if Chandimal is rested,but not likely to happen . If Tp plays should not bowl , but play only as a batsmen , otherwise he will just leak runs .Matthews is a better bowling option and maybe Dilshan can bowl 1 over , opening the bowling . Good luck lions and we need to learn to chase big scores of 175+ when needed . A real pinch hitter is solely missed as TP cannot be counted on. Other option is to send TP 3 down after mahela & sanga

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • jerryman on March 21, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    I think it would be better to play 3 spinners in mendis,herath & sena. TP may have to be rested. I would prefer if Chandimal is rested,but not likely to happen . If Tp plays should not bowl , but play only as a batsmen , otherwise he will just leak runs .Matthews is a better bowling option and maybe Dilshan can bowl 1 over , opening the bowling . Good luck lions and we need to learn to chase big scores of 175+ when needed . A real pinch hitter is solely missed as TP cannot be counted on. Other option is to send TP 3 down after mahela & sanga

  • on March 21, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    I think Hashim Amla is not good enough to open in a t20 side. Other than that they are a good team. But SL are far better than them.

  • Hg1987 on March 21, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    perennial bridesmaids? I'm sorry when did the last time SA qualify for a finals ?

  • Greatest_Game on March 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    @ Áravindá Lakdeep believes that "Hashim Amla is not good enough to open in a t20 side. Other than that they are a good team. But SL are far better than them."

    I guess the simple question is if "SL are far better than SA," why could SL not beat SA, at home in a series in Sri Lanka? Surely if SL are far better, they would actually beat South Africa? SL have lost all 3 matches in which they have played SA played at home.

  • tinkertinker on March 21, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    How can a team that has never even finished 2nd be "perennial bridesmaid"

  • Naked_Cricket on March 21, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @ Greatest_Game ; Where have you been. SL beat SA ODI Series SL won 4:1

    In SA , at there home SL lost By 2:3

    Who Played better cricket . And better cricket @ home .

  • on March 21, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    hashim amla is a good batsman. but I've never seen him but in a t20 match! I think SA have a good team but being honest SL have a much better balanced team. After their awesome run in Bangladesh in the recent times SL will be the favourites to win the match. but all that being said cricket specially t20 is unpredictable

  • Matt.au on March 21, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    @Greatest_Game

    I guess Áravindá Lakdeep is talking about the here and now, not results from 6 months ago.

    Your statement "SL have lost all 3 matches in which they have played SA played at home." is incorrect. SL beat SA in the last game played between the two teams. That game was played in SL.

  • anoop3301 on March 21, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    South Africa looks the better team to me. However, as history suggests,victory may not mean they will progress further.

  • on March 21, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    Toss will be key , and honestly Sa needs to buck up to win against SL . keeping my fingers crossed . let's do it boys .. Come on proteas ...