Daijiworld Media Network
Hambantota, Sep 22: Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to field.
de Villiers: 'We are used to playing shortened games. We played two shortened games in England. We are better prepared. Faf comes in place of Robin Peterson. I am learning as I go on.'
Mahela: ' We are going to bowl first. We will try to chase down a target. I don't know how to go about it, first time I have been involved in a game like this. The focus will be to enjoy the game. Ajantha is still stiff. Rangana Herath comes in place of him. Since the game is short, there is no use playing Akila'
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene(c), Kumar Sangakkara(w), Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga
South Africa (Playing XI): Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(w/c), Farhaan Behardien, Jacques Kallis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel
5:25 PM: The latest update is that the game will start at 6 PM and it will be a seven overs per side match provided there is no more rain. The toss wil take place in about 15 minutes time. The powerplay will be two overs per side.
4:55 PM: Most of the covers have come off and the groundstaff are working hard to drain the excess water off the square. There is still no news about the start time though.
4:50 PM: The rain seems to have stopped and the covers are just being pulled away cautiously. There is a lot of water on the surface though.
4:20 PM: The covers were just starting to come off, but the drizzle returns and they are firmly back on the square.
4:05 PM: Mpumelelo Mbangwa tweets 'Ground staff feel there may be more rain. Hanging about waiting and there's a bit of drizzle(very slight)'.
3:55 PM: The ground-staff are waiting to see if there is more bad weather in store. They have not started work on the covers. Lots of puddles are formed on it. Umpire Ian Gould is in consultation with the ground-staff and there will be another update in 30 minutes time.
Welcome one and all to the second match of Group C between Sri Lanka and South Africa. This is the first time that both these teams are playing in a T20I. However, the news is not good. It is currently raining at the ground and it looks like the start will be delayed.
It is bucketing down. The entire ground is covered and it is still pelting down. There are puddles of water on some parts of the square. Not looking good at all.
Sanjay Manjrekar tweets: Rain has stopped in Hambantota...sky looking clearer..now time for the groundsmen to earn their wages.
The cut-off time for a five over game could be 6:15 PM. Still no official confirmation yet. The covers are still firmly in place and it is still drizzling.
Duminy: 'We don't have to win the game to reach the super-eights but we need to win it so that we garner momentum. This is a big game for us and we are up for it. It would be good for me to get some time out in the middle. Things are going well for RSA. We are playing some consistent cricket.'
Preview by Shashreek Roy
It is finally that time in Group C, when the big guns start taking each other on. Both Sri Lanka and South Africa are already through to the next stage, owing to their thumping wins over Zimbabwe. Despite that, Mahela Jayawardene and AB de Villiers will be looking for a win in order to send out a strong message to the other teams in the tournament.
The advantage that Sri Lanka have in this encounter is the fact that their batsmen and bowlers have gone through a full workout in their match against Zimbabwe, unlike their opponents who batted for just 12.4 overs. With South Africa's middle order yet to bat on Sri Lankan soil in this tournament, the batting does run the risk of faltering.
Sri Lanka: For the hosts, the batting seems to be coming together quite well. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara looked particularly impressive in the encounter against Zimbabwe. The big positive for them came in the form of all rounder Jeevan Mendis who scored 43 off 30 balls. With Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews yet to come good, things look rather hunky dory as far as the batting line up is concerned.
The bowling too was pretty impressive last time, with Ajantha Mendis bagging record figures of 6/8 in his quota of four. Incidentally the other Mendis, Jeevan, managed to pick up three. These obviously prove to be ominous signs for South Africa, especially considering their perpetual weakness to spin. In all likelihood the team might remain the same, however, if Mahela is in the mood to experiment then it might be worth replacing Thissara Perera with off spinner Akila Dananjaya, just to pile on the spin against the Proteas.
South Africa: They are currently the best side in this format of the game, and looked quite professional in their game against the minnows. The openers looked in good touch and spent some time in the middle. Things will not be so easy for them when they go up against the Lankans, however, with the class they have in the side, they should be able to step up to the challenge. The only disadvantage for them though, is the fact that the middle order hasn't had any time in the middle, apart from the practice games.
South Africa's bowling unit is possibly the strongest amongst the teams in this tournament. With Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel leading the attack, this line up could give any side a run for their money. To top it all, the Proteas have Jacques Kallis in the line up, a cricketer who provides so much with the bat and ball. Kallis looked at his best with the ball in the match against the minnows as he took 4/15 in his quota of four overs. South Africa will probably look to go in with the same squad as the one that played against Zimbabwe.
AB de Villiers on Kallis' ageless form: 'Jacques is an amazing player, one of a kind. Obviously I've no idea how he keeps doing it.'
Jayawardene on Kallis: 'I don't think anyone would disagree that Jacques would be the best allrounder in our generation in all forms of the game.'
Sri Lanka (From): Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene(c), Kumar Sangakkara(w), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Akila Dananjaya Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara
South Africa (From): Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers(w/c), Jean-Paul Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Faf du Plessis, Wayne Parnell