Sri Lanka will look to build on their impressive victory over hosts England and keep their World Cup semi-final hopes alive when they take on South Africa in Durham on Friday.

The 1996 champions’ surprise 20-run victory over England has suddenly thrown open the semi-final qualifications race, breathing new life into their inconsistent campaign.

World Cup 2019: Sri Lankan coach wary of eliminated South Africa playing fearless cricket

With two wins, Sri Lanka are currently in seventh position with six points and need to win the rest of their three matches to harbour hopes of a semi-final berth.

While Sri Lanka will be fancying their chances against a down-and-out South African side, the Proteas would be more than keen to make a statement in their remaining matches.

Plenty of learnings: Kagiso Rabada wants South Africa to look at positives despite World Cup exit

Last edition’s semi-finalists, South Africa were knocked out of the World Cup following a 49-run loss to Pakistan. They have failed to learn from their mistakes in what has been a disappointing campaign and with nothing to lose now, the Proteas will hope for a consolation win.

“The way we played today is borderline embarrassing,” South African captain Faf du Plessis had said after the defeat to Pakistan. “We are a mediocre team at the moment because we are making the same mistakes. One step forward and two steps back is not a good team. The guys are playing with low confidence and making the same mistakes. It just rolls on, it’s such a snowball effect.”

World Cup: Sri Lanka to continue wearing alternate yellow jersey after getting approval from ICC

Both the teams have struggled with the bat. But Sri Lanka have an experienced bowling attack led by veteran Lasith Malinga.

Along with Dhananjaya de Silva, Malinga defended a relatively modest target of 233 against England, bowling out the hosts for 212. To ensure another win, the Sri Lankan batsmen will need to step up and complement their bowling.


South Africa: Faf du Plessis [captain], Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pertorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamshi, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Rassie van der Dussen, Beuran Hendricks.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne [captain], Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

Match starts at 3 pm [IST].

[Inputs from PTI]