ICC World Twenty20

Proteas out to tame Mendis

2012-09-21 11:10
Ajantha Mendis (AP)

Hambantota - South Africa skipper AB de Villiers said his batsmen will put Sri Lanka's magician spinner Ajantha Mendis under pressure when the two teams meet in a group C match in Hambantota on Saturday.

Mendis, 27, sounded a warning to all batsmen by picking up 6-8 - the best figures in all Twenty20 cricket - to crush Zimbabwe in the opening match of the World Twenty20 on Tuesday and promises further destruction.

But De Villiers said his team will be ready for the mystery spinner.

"Mendis is a world class bowler," said the South African captain on Friday. "When he's going well he will always pick up wickets. But we've seen him perform under pressure and seen him break down under pressure as well.

"So, hopefully, we can get the upper hand against him and not let him bowl to us."

South Africa also thumped Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in their opening match on Thursday to qualify for the Super Eights round with Sri Lanka but De Villiers promised no let-ups.

"I don't think there will be any drop in intensity. We're in the beginning stages of a very, very big event, a tournament that we really want to win," said De Villiers of South Africa, who are among the title favourites in the 12-team event.

The South African captain admitted his team were underdogs against the fancied hosts.

"We know we're not a perfect team. Sri Lanka are the home team and we're probably underdogs. We'll try and gain more momentum out of the game," said De Villiers, whose country has not won a major event since winning the 1998 ICC knock-out event in Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene played down the hype around Mendis, who is often compared with world record holder countryman Muttiah Muralitharan.

"They're big boots to fill. It's going to be tough for anyone to fit into Murali's shoes because of the quality of the player," said Jayawardene of Murali, whose 800 Tests and 534 one-day wickets are the highest in the world.

"It's going to be tough for these youngsters to say they're going to be the next Murali. What we encourage them to be is the best they can be. If they can do good job for Sri Lanka over the next 10 years, then that will be great."

Jayawardene hoped his team keeps the winning momentum.

"It's a big tournament. That itself is big motivation for the guys to make sure that intensity levels are up. We want to keep the momentum going into the next round," said Jayawardene.

The Sri Lanka captain praised South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who recorded the best figures for his country in all Twenty20 with 4-15 against Zimbabwe.

"I don't think anyone would disagree that Jacques would be the best all-rounder in our generation in all forms of the game. He's improving everyday and that's because of the hunger that he has and the competitive edge," he added.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

KP calls for Cook to quit

2014-07-26 17:08

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • SS5:
    Sat, 26 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.