It has been a World Cup to forget for the Proteas, but the nightmare is not yet over.

There are still two games to go, with the next one being against Sri Lanka on Friday at the Riverside Ground in Durham (11.30am SA time).

And while Sri Lanka may have lost the recent ODI series 5-0 in South Africa, the Asian outfit are enjoying a much better World Cup.

They are currently sixth on the log with six points, and still have an outside chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka probably need to win two out of their last three matches against the Proteas, West Indies and India to advance to the last-four.

For South Africa, nothing more than pride is at stake. But despite their dominance over the Sri Lankans recently, middle-order batsman David Miller knows that it won’t be easy to pull off just their second victory of the tournament on Friday.

The big test is facing Lasith Malinga, who bowls those trademark toe-crushing yorkers and sleight-of-hand slower-balls.

“You need to look at the umpire’s tummy – because that is where the ball comes from! He’s a seriously good player who has done phenomenally well for many, many years,” Miller said in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat to Pakistan.

“He is a dangerous bowler, so we are going to have to come up with our plans. A bit of slower balls… pretty effectively. He knows the flow of the game, and we realise that.

“We have to take a look to see what’s happening, and you do feel that he bowls a lot more slower-balls at the back-end.

“It obviously helps that we recently played them in a home series. As we know, in a World Cup, it’s a one-off, different ball-game.

“But I genuinely believe that we are going to come back strongly. We will prepare and have a couple of days in Durham, so we have to turn the ship around and put in a good performance.”

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@ashfakmohamed


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