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Sri Lanka vs South Africa: The five talking points

The big takeaways from the first quarter-final clash between Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Written by Vinay Siwach |
Updated: November 29, 2015 3:45:55 pm
South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, Cricket Kumar Sangakkara played his last World Cup match at the SCG as South Africa knocked Sri Lanka out of the tournament. (Source: Reuters)

It was a big stage. It was the World Cup. A knockout game. Pressure was immense. But South Africa came prepared. They played like the best team in the competition. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, did what South Africa did over the years: they choked. Sri Lankan team won the toss and after that, it was all about the Proteas.(Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)

READ: Sachin leads Twitter tributes for retiring Mahela and Sangakkara

South Africa’s team selection

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, CricketAt the toss, AB de Villiers was clearly disappointed for not getting the coin toss in his favour. On what looked like a belter of a pitch at the SCG, the Proteas made two changes to the team – Kyle Abbott and Faf du Plessis. Abbott was given the new ball and he was right on the money. Though he got only one wicket, that of Tillakratne Dilshan, he kept a check on the Sri Lankan batsmen and put pressure on them with this pace and bounce. Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel got the benefit of that.

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Sri Lanka’s gamble

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, CricketWhen Angelo Mathews announced his team changes, no one was surprised too much. Sri Lanka had changed thier squad for cru​n​ch matches (remember 2011 World Cup final?) and they did it once again. A young pacer and debutant off-spinner. The real surprise came when Kusal Perera was sent out to open the innings. Your regular opener – Lahiru Thiramanne – is among runs and has a 100 to his name in the World Cup and you end up playing him at number four? Team management surely got this wrong given Perera never, never looked comfortable facing the Steyn and Co.

Sanga on song, alone

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, CricketThere is something about Kumar Sangakkara that fans around the world know that he will score. After four consecutive tons, he could have got another one under his belt. After the opening blows, Sri Lanka needed to rebuild. Sangakkara and Thiramanne did the job for them but the former didn’t get going, at any point in the game. He opened his account after facing 15 balls, was on 5 off 41 and was finally out for 46 off 96 balls. Had Sangakkara accelerated along with Thiramanne, the pressure would not have crept up. But it did and Sri Lanka failed to perform under pressure.

South Africa spin a surprise

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, CricketA South African spin duo, one spinner being a part-timer, tearing apart a sub-continental side which has two best palyers of spin. Surely, cricket has changed. Imran Tahir and JP Duminy combined for seven wickets and gave away only 55 runs. Tahir took four and Duminy accounted for the remaining three. His three wickets came off three consecutive balls – hat-trick! Sri Lanka included a ‘Murali-like mystery spinner’ in their line-up but it was the South African pair that appeared to be a mystery to them. The batsmen probably liked Tahir’s celebration and gave their wickets to watch him again and again.

Quinton’s half ton

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, SAvSL, SLvSA, World Cup 2015, 2015 World Cup SAvSL, SLvSA World Cup 2015, Cricket News, CricketQuinton de Kock picked the perfect game to return to form. First the catch upfront and then the fifty in the chase. Hashim Amla just had a game and it is a good news for South Africa that De Kock stepped up and carried the team home. He played his shots, punished the bad balls and survived the good balls. It was good outing for him and South Africa will hope that he continues to perform as the team plays another big match in Auckland on Tuesday.

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First published on: 18-03-2015 at 04:28:20 pm

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