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Need to get rid of AB early: Mathews

Need to get rid of AB early: Mathews
Wary of the threat his counterpart AB de Villiers is to his side, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews says getting rid of the dashing right-hander early will be the key to his side’s success in the first World Cup quarterfinal to be played on Wednesday.

“AB is such a destructive player. We need to try to get rid of him as early as we can or else we’ll be in trouble. When he gets going, it’s really hard to stop him,” Mathews said at the pre-match press conference here on Tuesday.

Mathews believes both teams will be nervous heading into the encounter and praised the African side for playing some quality cricket. “Both teams will be nervous for sure. We all know that South Africans are a very hard team to beat, especially in this tournament. They’ve come out really hard and they have a good, balanced team. We have to go out there and perform well to beat the South Africans,” said Mathews.

The young captain also banks on the support from the crowd, saying, “If you play at MCG or SCG, it’s like playing at home. Most of the Sri Lankans across Australia or across the world, they fly into Sydney and give immense support for us. So we really enjoy playing in Sydney. It’s such a wonderful atmosphere and we invite all the Sri Lankans across Australia to come to Sydney and fill up those stands.”

Herath doubtful
Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath was rated as only ‘50-50’ by captain Angelo Mathews for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against South Africa. The 36-year-old Herath needed four stitches in the spinning finger of his left hand after he tried to stop a full-blooded drive from England’s Jos Buttler during Sri Lanka’s nine-wicket win in Wellington on March 1 and hasn’t played since. “He’s still 50-50.
He hasn’t had a bowl yet. The physio has to have a look at him once again today. If he bowls at practice today he’ll be in contention for selection. If not, he won’t be playing,” Mathews said. Herath bowled just five balls in the nets on Tuesday before consulting the team physio.


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