It will be a defining Now or Never face-off for both Sri Lanka and South Africa in a decisive must win Super 12 battle lines the two sides will carry to the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today Saturday at 3.30 p.m. in a bid to make the last four of the semi-final stage of the seventh edition of the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2021. Needing to win three of their four crunch fixtures, to the Sri Lankan camp skipper Dasun Shanaka and his team would go into the game knowing very well they face that intense make or break reality time that to make it is all about defeating the South Africans as well as England..
In the first things first, despite their recent turn around in the run up to the Super 12 and downing Bangladesh in facile style bar the loss to Australia, the run up hype does put the onus on the Sri Lankans to coming up with a durable game plan of upsetting the Proteas having lost to them when they last met in their own backyard in September. It would be the reawakening to nothing short of an extraordinary all-round display will take them past Temba Bavuma’s men. When the Lankan camp maps out their game plan the skipper and think tanks would also be aware that the South Africans pulled it off over them minus Temba Bavuma who cried off by an on field injury in the first ODI that put him out of action from both series’. In that equation, the Lankans will need to bury the loss to the Australians and look to reproducing the smashing type of cricket that swept Bangladesh from under their feet.
In effect, it will be about ‘Cometh the hour, Cometh the man’ of the big show stuff and that the likes of Kusal Janith Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa will have to fire on the frontline. The Lankan camp will also do well to rethink its decision of having not got Dhananjaya de Silva into the equation as he is a batter capable of dealing with a situation. They will need to blunt South Africa’s two key bowlers Tabraiz Shamsi and Kagisso Rabada while the Lankan bowlers will need to come up with a more forceful performance than against the Australians. Both sides will be recouping having lost to Australia. The players the Lankans will also have to watch out for are Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Aiden Markram, and Anrich Nortjed.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara and Maheesh Theekshana.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen/ Quinton de Kock (wk), David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi.