1996 World Cup winners, Sri Lanka are the reason behind the rise in popularity of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The tournament received heavy criticism from the fans because of the rain-marred matches as well as lopsided encounters. However, Sri Lanka's miraculous victory over England has opened up the group stage as four teams are now in contention for a semifinal spot.
Sri Lanka's next opponents, South Africa have been eliminated from the World Cup but the Proteas will look to salvage some pride and leave the United Kingdom with as many points as possible.
The Asian giants need to bring their A-game versus South Africa and here are the eleven players that they should pick in the match squad -
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera will open the innings for the Islanders, followed by Avishka Fernando at number 3.
Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis and the experienced Angelo Mathews will form the core of the team. They will be backed up by all-rounders Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera.
The team's three fast bowlers, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana and Lasith Malinga will complete the line-up.
Key Players for Sri Lanka
Batsmen - Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera
Both the openers had a disastrous outing against England in the last game but they would look to improve their performance in the important fixture against South Africa. Karunaratne and Perera have been phenomenal for Sri Lanka in the tourney and they need to put up their best partnership at Chester-le-Street to increase their side's chances.
Bowlers - Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep
Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep, two of the most important fast bowlers of Sri Lanka will have an uphill task up against them in-form Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen. They will have to repeat the heroics of the game against England to raise Sri Lanka's position in the points table.
Predicted Playing XI
Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratane, Kusal Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Dhananjay de Silva, Angelo Matthews, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal and Lasith Malinga
Also see – India vs England head to head statsPublished 27 Jun 2019, 22:59 IST