The first semi-final of the Unacademy Road Safety World Series saw the India Legends qualify for the final after playing out an absolute gem of a match against the West Indies Legends on Wednesday. The second one, based on sheer reputation alone, looks set to be equally exciting as South Africa Legends take on Sri Lanka Legends today.
The Sri Lanka Legends have been the best team in the tournament since the restart. No team has been successful in tarnishing their win record. Two of their batsmen top the run scoring charts, they’ve picked up the most wickets overall, and their captain, Tillakaratne Dilshan, leads the bowling charts.
The Sri Lankans do not bat too deep. They have decent batsmen in the lower order, but it really just depends on two unbelievable players. Tillakaratne Dilshan has been in scintillating form with the blade. Getting him out early would shift the momentum heavily in the Proteas’ favour. Upul Tharanga did not contribute too much in the last game but is still a very terrifying batsman to bowl to. Chamara Kapugedara is also someone who is more than capable of destroying opposition bowlers completely so the South Africa Legends will be wary of that.
The bowling department for Sri Lanka Legends is one of the finest out there. Skipper Dilshan himself contributing (a little too well, infact!), Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara are also proven game-changers and they will look to leave an impression today. The Sri Lanka Legends have also fielded brilliantly, something that is always, always important when trying to pressurize batsmen.
On the other hand, South Africa Legends have had a rollercoaster ride of sorts. They lost rather embarrassingly in their first game to this very opponent but exorcised the ghosts of their first game to beat the England Legends brilliantly. Then they were again taken down by India, and rose again to beat Bangladesh. At this stage, though, they will have to win it or go home. No second chances here. They have the firepower with the bat; Morne Van Wyk and Andrew Puttick have been in blistering form. Alviro Peterson is superb in his own right. Jonty Rhodes will be a concern but he should be fit to play and add stability to the middle order. Their bowling department is fantastic. Makhaya Ntini is a man of supreme skill, and he has a tendency to bowl unplayable deliveries more often than any other pacer in the tournament. He is supported well by Garnett Kruger and spin sensation Thandi Tshabalala, as a potent weapon of a bowling attack will stare down at an equally wonderful batting outfit.
To be honest, this game will hinge on the ability to come up clutch. Even the greatest of teams can have off-days, and both of these will hope that today is not that kind of day. This game will also decide, to some degree, the winner, should there be a dominating performance from either side. India Legends only edged out their opponents and a comprehensive performance today will help with a stronger mindset in the final as well.
All bets go off today as two powerhouses take on each other in the penultimate game of the tournament. Watch this space because its just about to get heated!!