South Africa vs. Sri Lanka, World T20: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info, Preview

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South Africa vs. Sri Lanka, World T20: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info, Preview
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South Africa kick off their World Twenty20 campaign against one of the tournament favourites, Sri Lanka, on Saturday.

Venue: Chittagong

Date: Saturday, March 22

Start time: 9:30 a.m. GMT

Live on: Sky Sports (UK)Fox Sports (Australia), Super Sport (South Africa), BTV (Bangladesh)PTV Sports (Pakistan), Star India (India), SLBC (Sri Lanka), ESPN3 (USA)

Weather: There is some rain about in Chittagong on Friday and Sunday, but according to Accuweather, the forecast for Saturday is clear and sunny.

 

Overview

The news for South Africa isn't good ahead of their tournament opener.

Dale Steyn and Faf du Plessis are both struggling with hamstring injuries, as per ESPNCricinfo, and are both in doubt for the start for the campaign. The Proteas have made do without Steyn in T20s before, but losing skipper Du Plessis will add to their struggles.

AB de Villiers will most likely take over captaincy duties while Farhaan Behardien is likely to enter stage left as batting replacement.

It's all a bit unsettling ahead of such a big challenge, and Sri Lanka have no such concerns. The islanders lost one of their two warm-up matches ahead of the tournament, coming up 33 runs short against the West Indies despite having a number of their star players in the side, but it shouldn't be too much of a concern for a side so familiar with subcontinental conditions.

South Africa won both their warm-ups, despite a poor showing back home against Australia just a few weeks ago.

That's the thing with T20 cricket: It can change very quickly. Sure, there are set foundations in place and the more talent you have, the more likely you are to edge a win, but one tearaway effort from one player can turn a game on its head.

Sri Lanka might be favourites and South Africa might have a tough time making it out of the Super 10s, but there will be much fanfare to look forward to and previous results, especially those warm-up games, mean very little.

If South Africa can find some impetus on the day—especially with de Villiers likely to occupy the number three spot with du Plessis out of the equation—they might just spring a surprise on the T20 behemoth that is Sri Lanka.

 

Francois Nel/Getty Images

Key players

South Africa

Spin is going to be a huge part of this tournament. While South Africa's Imran Tahir might have blown hot and cold in Tests, he's been immensely effective in the shortest format of the game. With conditions very much suited to his style of bowling, Tahir will be the Proteas' most crucial bowler.

Sri Lanka

Wherever Kumar Sangakkara goes, runs flow. He will hang up his T20 international boots after the tournament, and while there tends to be no big ceremony about T20 retirements, it might offer him a little bit of motivation to go out on a high.

 

Squads

South Africa

Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Aaron Phangiso, Jean-Paul Duminy, Morne Morkel, Albie Morkel, David Miller, Beuran Hendricks, Farhaan Behardien, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Imran Tahir, Quinton de Kock (w/k), Faf du Plessis (c)

Sri Lanka

Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (w/k), Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, Chaturanga de Silva, Rangana Herath,  Angelo Mathews, Kushal Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Sachithra Senanayake

 

 

 

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