Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sri Lanka vs South Africa ICC World T20 Match Preview

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On March 22 Sri Lanka will take on South Africa in a match of ICC World T20 cricket match. This is the first match of group A. Sri Lanka has been the most consistent team in the ICC World tournaments, having reached the knock-out stages more often than any other team in the last decade. Yet an ICC trophy eludes them since 1996, when Arjuna Ranatunga and company put the Sri Lankan cricket team on the global map.

South Africa on the other hand have been termed as the perennial chokers on the world stage. In spite of an outstanding record in bilateral tournaments, save for the ICC knockout trophy in 1998, they have never managed to win any major ICC tournament. They have been notoriously guilty of throwing away matches from winning positions.

South Africa where ever you look has those skilfully delighted players who every now and then impress you with their routines on the cricket field. AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and Dale Steyn are all specimens of it. South Africa has been one of the best cricketing nations yet when it comes to play on a big stage, they somehow become incongruous mishmash of cricketing geniuses.

In T20Is played since the start of last year between Test-playing nations, Perera has the lowest defensive shot percentage and highest attacking shot percentage amongst players to face at least 100 balls. Combined with the fact he also has the lowest dot ball percentage in this period, it is clear he is a man to fear down the order.

Duminy will be useful in this tournament with his handy off-spin (13 wickets in 20 innings at an average of 19), but Perera is a front-line strike option. He can be expensive, but goes into this tournament in good bowling form, having taken two wickets in consecutive T20Is for the first time in his career in his last two outings.