Having won and lost a game each, South Africa and Sri Lanka sit right below the two semi-finals spots in Group 1, behind England and Australia.
The two teams appear to be inferior to England and Australia but are likely to finish as the best of the rest. South Africa, for instance, were beaten by the Aussies in their World Cup opener but defeated the woeful West Indies in the follow-up game.
The eight-wicket win over the side from the Caribbean would have restored some confidence, especially after the way their top-order performed, with the exception of the captain and opener Temba Bavuma. Reeza Hendricks played his strokes, Rassie van der Dussen got his runs but the star of their batting was Aiden Markram, who smashed an unbeaten 26-ball 51.
The Proteas pace unit was exceptional too, with Anrich Nortje bowling the most suffocating of fast bowling spells this World Cup and finishing with figures of 14-1 in his quota of overs.
Quinton de Kock was missing from the game and the Africans managed. But for the future, they should sort out their internal matters and restore the southpaw in the line-up.
Sri Lanka had begun their World Cup campaign with an impressive win over Bangladesh but couldn’t replicate that level of performance against the Aussies in the second game.
The batters posted 154-6, which was unlikely to prove enough against the Aussies unless the bowlers bowled shrewdly, which they didn’t.
The Lankan bowlers allowed the previously out-of-form David Warner to finally find some runs as the target was achieved with seven wickets and three overs to spare.
The bowling of Lahiru Kumara was extremely expensive as he leaked a staggering 48 runs in just three overs.