We won’t drop our intensity for Lankan game – de Villiers
South Africa skipper A.B. de Villiers said that qualifying for the Super Eight stage, with a game to go, will not reduce any intensity of the contest when they meet Sri Lanka at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, on Saturday. Sri Lanka and South Africa, qualified for the Super Eights stage as Zimbabwe lost both of their games in Group C. On the Super Eight stage, Sri Lanka will be taking the C1 slot due to their rankings in T20 internationals and South Africa will be playing at C2, irrespective of the result at Sooriyawewa, on Saturday.
"I don’t think there will be any drop in intensity for the Sri Lanka game," said de Villiers.
"We’re in the beginning stages of a very, very big event, a tournament that we really want to win.
"You have to play well in every game and improve in every game. We’ll come out with a lot of energy and try and improve in areas that we didn’t play well against Zimbabwe," said de Villiers.
The South African skipper is not totally satisfied of his team's performance in Thursday's game against Zimbabwe despite the fact that they won it by 10 wickets. As he sees, there's room for improvement.
"I don’t think we were 100% in that game. We’ve got a lot of work to do," de Villiers said.
"We know we’re not a perfect team. Sri Lanka is the home team and we’re probably underdogs. We’ll try and gain more momentum out of the game,” de Villiers told reporters.
De Villiers was taken aback by the bounce he saw at MRICS, in the match against Zimbabwe. However, he may not see the same on Saturday since the grass on the two surfaces was cut by Friday afternoon.
"I was expecting it to bounce a bit, but perhaps not as much as it did," de Villiers said.
"I was surprised the pitch didn’t really take turn. I’m certainly expecting it to turn a bit more when we play Sri Lanka," he said.
The South Africans know the Sri Lankan team quite well and they played a series in South Africa at the start of this year. However, this is going to be the first time that the two teams are meeting in a T20 International.
"Even though it’s a dead rubber (Saturday's game) there’s lot to gain. It will help both teams to gain a bit of momentum and confidence," de Villiers said.
- Daminda Wijesuriya reporting from Sooriyawewa