Cricket World Cup : 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup – Sri Lanka’s batsmen must show more patience under pressure in their “must-win” World Cup encounter against Afghanistan to put their crushing opening-round defeat behind them, pace bowler Lasith Malinga has warned.
Cricket format: One Day International
Tournament format : Round-robin and Knockout
Dates: Thu, May 30, 2019 – Sun, Jul 14, 2019
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New Zealand thumped Sri Lanka without losing a single wicket in Cardiff on Saturday to begin their campaign in style after seam bowlers Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson skittled them out for 136.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne contributed an unbeaten 52 in that total as the Sri Lankan top-order’s vulnerability in bowler-friendly conditions was exposed and Malinga said that a similar performance against Afghanistan would cost them dear on Tuesday.
ri Lanka, who were comprehensively beaten by New Zealand in their opening game, will look to come out with much-improved performance when they take on dark horses Afghanistan in the ongoing World Cup at the Cardiff Wales Stadium here on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka did not have the ideal start to their World Cup campaign as they lost by 10 wickets to the Black Caps on June 1. None of their batsmen — apart from skipper Dimuth Karunaratne who remained unbeaten at 52 — could stand against the hostile bowling from the Kiwi pacers and were bundled out for 136. The bowlers also failed to come up with an inspiring performance and proved ineffective as New Zealand chased down the target inside 16 overs.
Karunaratne’s men need to pull up their socks and improve in all the three departments if they want to beat Afghanistan, who have a well-rounded bowling attack.
Southampton: The clash between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan is not merely a contest between two subcontinent nations but a battle for pride at Sophia Gardens On Tuesday.
Only a few years ago, this match would have been a cakewalk for Sri Lanka. But these days, Afghanistan are giant-killers and the Lankans are a shattered lot after a huge defeat to New Zealand at Cardiff on Saturday.
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Chasing Afghanistan is also not easy considering their bowling attack is made up of some of the best spinners in the game, such as Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.
That setback came hot on the heels of their 104-run thrashing by England, leaving South Africa with no margin for error in the 10-team competition.
Facing title contenders India at Southampton on Wednesday is hardly what South Africa would have preferred as they fight to stay in contention for a semi-final berth.
But all-rounder Phehlukwayo is adamant the Proteas can get back on track as long as they do not dwell on their misfortune.
“There have been some bad days in my career. I’ve learned, and the team has learned, that it is not the end of the world,” Phehlukwayo told reporters.
“We can always bounce back. We are a team that bounces back from situations and we will definitely do it again.
“We haven’t had a good start but this is a big tournament and anyone can beat anyone on any given day.”
The injury-hit South Africans have had to do without veteran pace bowler Dale Steyn in both matches due to a shoulder problem, while star batsman Hashim Amla missed the Bangladesh match following a head injury.
Adding to their problems, Lungi Ngidi was ruled out for up to 10 days with a hamstring strain sustained against Bangladesh.
Amla could return against India, but Phehlukwayo says it is South Africa’s failure to execute their game-plan that has been the biggest problem.