WC 2003 - Sri Lankans aim to crush South African WC dream
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Durban: Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya aims to crush South Africa's World Cup dream when the two sides clash in a do-or-die World Cup encounter under the Kingsmead lights on Monday."I think we've got a good chance," he said of a match which could secure top place in pool B for the 1996 champions and eliminate the hosts from Super Six contention.With Kenya having already qualified, there are only two places left to fight over with New Zealand heavily tipped to claim one of them as it faces the minnows of Canada in its final encounter.Jayasuriya said he believed Sri Lanka had the bowling to make inroads in the South African batting on a pitch which usually favours pace bowling, with left-arm swing bowler Chaminda Vaas looking to continue in the form which has made him the bowler of the tournament. Vaas has taken 16 wickets at 7.81 to top the wicket-takers and the averages while his off spinning teammate Muthiah Muralitharan is not far behind, with 11 wickets at 11.27. Asked whether he was concerned that the back-up bowling was a long way short of the standard of his aces, Jayasuriya said the pace of Dilhara Fernando and Pulasthi Gunaratne or Prabath Nissanka and the spin of Aravinda de Silva and himself was enough. "The support bowling has been good. We have been able to get the job done," he said. "The worrying factor is the batting." South African captain Shaun Pollock is confident that his struggling team will be able to put together a good performance at Kingsmead, his home ground and he said he is not worried about criticism that conditions change after dark in day-night games. "It's my favourite ground. We know the conditions. I don't mind whether we bat first or second," he said. Pollock said his players had performed well enough in what many observers saw as a disappointing win over Canada on Thursday when they could only take five wickets. "The batsmen had time in the middle and the bowlers showed good discipline," he said. The only key player yet to spark was all-rounder Jacques Kallis."But he's been looking good in the nets and it's just a matter of time before he makes a score." Rain prevented the South Africans from practising on Saturday which meant the team management missed another chance to assess the form of Allan Donald, the veteran fast bowler who has had a dismal tournament.