The hosts of the T20 World Cup 2012 face a confident and charged-up South Africa in the first of the tournament's high-profile clashes. The Group C decider (both teams have beaten Zimbabwe) will play out in Hambantota. Meanwhile, over in Group B, Colombo will host the second game of the day, as the tournament's big guns come out to play. The Australians came into this tournament on the back of a very disappointing season but will have gained much confidence (Shane Watson in particular) after their avuncular dismissal of Ireland in the first game. This is the West Indies' first game of the tournament.
Who: Sri Lanka v South Africa
When: 10.30 am BST on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. ESPN will also stream the match live at its official Web site
This is, admittedly, a dead rubber. Group C's big teams have each ensured their presence in the Super Eights with emphatic wins over Zimbabwe; Sri Lanka won by 82 runs and South Africa by 10 wickets. However, that does not mean this is not an important game. Far from it! This will be the first real test for both sides and with teams like England, India, Pakistan and Australia all likely to populate the next stage, both countries will welcome the game as a serious contest. There is also the little matter of determining finishing positions in the group. As of now, the hosts have a healthier Net Run Rate (NRR) of 4.100 to South Africa's 2.771, which means they lead the group. That also means.
If Sri Lanka were superb with the bat against Zimbabwe, with Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis rattling up 182/4 in the allotted 20 overs... they were even better with the ball. Ajantha Mendis, already the record holder for the best ever bowling performance in T20 Internationals (6/16 in four overs) produced an even more devastating spell - 6/8 in four overs - to destroy Zimbabwe, who were bowled out for 100 in 17.3 overs.
South Africa were equally dismissive of the Zimbabweans. The Gary Kirsten-led Proteas have just come off a hugely successful tour of England and it shows. What Mendis did for the Lankans, Jacques Kallis and Morne Morkel did for South Africa - the duo took 6/31 between them to reduce Zimbabwe to 93/8 in 20 overs and openers Richard Levi and Hashim Amla barely broke sweat in the chase, wrapping it up in 12.4 overs.
South Africa: AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Francois du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Akila Dananjaya, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne
Who: Australia v West Indies
When: 2.30 pm BST on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD. ESPN will also stream the match live at its official Web site
The Australians romped to a convincing win against Associate side Ireland in their opening game but will be aware they may need to step things up a level or two to take on the West Indies. Shane Watson was in superb form in the first game and will once again be tasked with brilliance, both with the bat and the ball. Watson took 3/26 and scored 51 to win the Player of the Match award in the first game.
The burly Australian may not find it as easy against a surprisingly strong Caribbean side led by Darren Sammy. The West Indies will be confident of matching everything Watson can throw at them... they do have a certain Chris Gayle and then there are the likes of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to consider. Australian captain George Bailey will have one clear tactic in his head - get rid of that top order as fast as possible. Should Gayle or even Bravo or Pollard be allowed to settle, they may well take the match away from Australia, Watson or no Watson.
Australia: George Bailey, Shane Watson, Daniel Christian, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Cameron White
West Indies: Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
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