The Oval features the first Group B match in Sri Lanka Vs South Africa. It will also be the first match of Group B and it promises to be a cracker of a match. South Africa are coming into the match with a victory in their last match against England while, Sri Lanka are coming into this match at the back of a defeat against Bangladesh. Let’s take a look at the players who will matter the most.
Key Batsman: Hashim Amla
Probably the best limited-overs opener South Africa has ever produced, Hashim Amla has been a talismanic figure for South Africa. Amla’s technique is top notch and his ability to accelerate, when required, makes him a player to watch out for. He gives South Africa the start they need at the top and gives the momentum for his side to carry forward.
The fastest player to 7000 ODI runs, a feat which he achieved in the last match, Amla has scored 799 runs in just 15 matches, which included 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries. Sri Lanka will be desperate to get the opener out at any cost.
Key Bowler: Lasith Malinga
With Angelo Matthews ruled out, Sri Lanka will be short on bowlers and the onus lies on Malinga to bowl well. Fondly called as ‘Slinga’ Malinga for his slinging action, the pacer bowled decently well in the warm-up match against Australia at the same venue, chipping in with a wicket.
He was in good form in the recently concluded Indian Premier League where he spearheaded the bowling attack of the Mumbai Indians. Though he failed to find the yorker at times, he used his variations to his maximum extent and curbed the flow of runs. He has bowled well against South Africa, picking up 32 wickets, including three four-wicket hauls and a five-wicket haul.
Key All-Rounder: Chris Morris
Morris has blossomed into one of the most dangerous all-rounders in the modern game. Coming in at Number 8, Morris can be lethal with the bat and has the ability to snatch the match away from the opposition’s grasp. His ability with the ball is no less and he can be trusted with both the new ball and in the death overs.
Coming into the limelight of the selectors after some impressive performances in the IPL, Morris has 31 wickets and has scored 272 runs in just 26 matches. He is a live wire on the field and can help save a few runs for the side as well. One of his two four-wicket hauls has come against the Islanders.
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