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South Africa will kick-start their 2023 World Cup campaign on Saturday, October 7 with a match against qualifiers Sri Lanka. The Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi will play host to this day-night game.
Our top South Africa vs Sri Lanka predictions
- 1 Our top South Africa vs Sri Lanka predictions
- 2 SA vs SL – Can Sri Lanka upset the pre-match favourites?
- 3 Pitch report and weather conditions
- 4 Key match details for SA vs SL
This could turn out to be an interesting encounter because South Africa enter this match on the back of some confidence from having beaten Australia back at home. However, they are playing a side that might not be the strongest but are more familiar with the subcontinental conditions than the Proteas.
First Prediction: Sri Lanka to win: 9/5 (2.8)
This is a bit of a left-field pick but while South Africa has been tipped to make the semifinals thanks to the bowling attack they have, it must be quickly added the conditions here will suit Sri Lanka a lot more than South Africa. The slow and low bounce and the heat and humidity could add to the Sri Lankan advantage.
Second Prediction: Top Sri Lanka Batsman – Kusal Mendis: 4/1 (5.0)
Over the last five years, Kusal Mendis has not only been Sri Lanka’s top run-getter, he is also coming off a sparkling knock of 158 in the warm-ups against Afghanistan. Backing him to continue with his consistent run as he looks to shepherd the Sri Lankan innings from that vital number three spot.
SA vs SL – Can Sri Lanka upset the pre-match favourites?
South Africa’s solid run in recent times has seen them win 41 and lose just 30 of their matches over the last five years but in the subcontinent this record dips to 5-7. This allows Sri Lanka, who have had to make it through the qualifiers to take their spot in this World Cup, a chance to upset the South African apple-cart.
South Africa are coming off a stunning series win over Australia, clinching it 3-2 from being 0-2 down.
What’s different is they will suddenly be playing in conditions that are chalk and cheese when compared to those back home and also coming off a warm-up defeat to New Zealand in the only game they featured in.
Sri Lanka Cricket Consultant Coach @MahelaJay has commenced his first practice session with the Sri Lankan national cricket team in India as they prepare for the first game against South Africa on Saturday pic.twitter.com/ooibJk3HLj
— NewsWire 🇱🇰 (@NewsWireLK) October 5, 2023
Sri Lanka wasn’t one of the top eight sides which got a direct entry into this tournament but then again, they won all their 10 matches in the ICC World Cup Qualifier played earlier this year.
They also made it to the final of the recently-concluded Asia Cup in which they ended on a 4-2 win-loss record with their only defeats coming to India and in conditions similar to these.
South Africa vs Sri Lanka h2h score
Overall, South Africa lead Sri Lanka 45-33 on their head to head.
Over the last 10 meetings between these two teams, South Africa lead 7-3. What’s interesting to see is that all of Sri Lanka’s wins have come at home, where the pitch and conditions aren’t too different from what could be on offer in Delhi.
Pitch report and weather conditions
The weather in the capital city of India will not be offering any respite to the players as it touches a high of 36 degrees centigrade. Humidity levels of 40% might not help the situation either.
Batting first hasn’t typically been a bad idea at this ground because the pitch does tend to get slightly slower as the match progresses. Over the last 10 years, four ODIs have been played here and it’s not tended to be a high-scoring ground with an overall batting strike-rate of about 78 putting it among the lower ranks in the list of high-scoring pitches.
Key match details for SA vs SL
- Date & Time: 8.30 am GMT, Saturday, October 7
- Venue: Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi
- Where to watch: UK audiences can watch this match with Sky Sports while Hot Star and Star Sports will telecast this in India and Sri Lanka. In South Africa, this match will be broadcast live on SuperSport and its app.
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