Wills International Cup - First Semi-Final

Wills International Cup - First Semi-Final

Post by Alex Balfou » Fri, 30 Oct 1998 04:00:00

The first semi final of the Wills International Cup gets underway
later  today,  with  South Africa and Sri Lanka, arguably the two
leading exponents of the one day game, pitted against one  anoth-
er.

Both sides were very impressive in their quarter final victories,
and a keenly fought contest can be expected.  Sri Lanka owed much
of their success to their skipper, Arjuna  Ranatunga,  who  shone
not  only with the bat, but in the field as well. His capacity to
marshal limited bowling resources came to the fore, but  he  will
be tested to the limit by the South Africans.

They may not have a Sachin Tendulkar, but Darryl Cullinan,  open-
ing  the batting for the first time for his country, was refresh-
ingly positive, and if he can again get his side off  to  a  good
start, then large totals will not be beyond them. The Lankans are
of course reknowned for their batting, and it would  be  a  major
shock  if their leading lights, Sanath Jayasuriya and Aravinda de
Silva both failed again.

The pitch has been watered, but the threat  of  rain  forced  the
groundsmen to pull the covers on last night, and it may not prove
to be as dry and as flat a track as we have become accustomed  to
at the Bangabandhu Stadium.  Moisture in the pitch early on could
help the seamers with the new ball, and although it is  a  situa-
tion  which will be unfamiliar to the Lankans, in Nuwan Zoysa and
Chaminda Vaas, they quite possibly have the superior opening  at-
tack, in the absence of Donald and Pollock.

Although the first two games of the tournament saw  large  totals
being  overcome by the chasing side, it has become clear that the
modus operandi of choice is, and will  continue  to  be,  to  bat
first,  and  put up a score of around the three hundred mark. Sri
Lanka will start as favourites, and it will take a  major  effort
for South Africa to overcome them and reach the final.