ICC Champions Trophy

Sri Lanka sweat on Mathews fitness

2017-06-02 21:35
Angelo Mathews (AFP)

Londo - Sri Lanka face a nervous wait to discover if captain Angelo Mathews will be fit for their Champions Trophy one-day international opener against South Africa on Saturday.

The all-rounder has been struggling with a calf problem and was due to have a fitness test on Friday.

But Sri Lanka are set to delay any final decision on Mathews until the morning of Saturday's match at the Oval.

"We're going to look at him tomorrow morning as well, so the final decision will be then," Sri Lanka vice-captain Upul Tharanga told reporters at the Oval on Friday.

By contrast South Africa, the world's top-ranked ODI side, begin their quest to win the 'mini World Cup' bolstered by the knowing both leg-spinner Imran Tahir and batsman David Miller are fully fit for the Group B fixture.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj proved an effective deputy when called upon by the Proteas during their recent 2-1 ODI series defeat by England but skipper AB de Villiers was glad to have Tahir available following a hamstring tweak.

"He's our number one spin bowler," said De Villiers.

"Keshav understands his role when it comes to that.

"There might be a time in the tournament where we might use a different strategy, if we play against a certain opposition or on a certain field.

"But for tomorrow, Imran is the number one pick."

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