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Series success against Sri Lanka doesn't matter much: SA's Maharaj ahead of match

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Sharjah, Oct 30 (IANS) South African spinner Keshav Maharaj has said that his team’s success in the series against Sri Lanka last month would count for nothing when the teams clash in the ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12’ game later on Saturday.

The Proteas had made a clean-sweep of the three-match T20 series played at the R Premadasa Stadium at Colombo in September, winning all the games emphatically. But Maharaj insisted ahead of the match on Saturday that his side will be “taking nothing for granted against Sri Lanka”.

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Sri Lanka were impressive when chasing 172 as they defeated Bangladesh in their Super 12s opener. They, however, lost to Australia in the second game at the T20 World Cup and now face a South African side, which was also beaten by Aaron Finch’s Australia before recovering to triumph over the West Indies.

“I think they’re (Sri Lanka) a side in form at the moment. You’ve seen they’ve played some really good cricket,” said Maharaj. “The batters are scoring runs. The bowlers, they have some really good spinners and fast bowlers at the moment who are bowling really quickly, as well.

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“We’re going to have to do our homework and not take any situation for granted. This is a World Cup and teams find a way of stepping up, so hopefully we’ve done our homework and we’ve trained accordingly to combat the Sri Lankan team (in Sharjah).”

Maharaj said that his side would have to adapt to what the surface at Sharjah has in store for them if they are to register their second win of the tournament.

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“It looks like quite a good surface, just maybe a bit low from what we’ve seen in the game between the West Indies and Bangladesh. Having said that, we are not sure if we are on a fresh wicket or used wicket. I think the boys must just make sure that we execute our lines and lengths and assess conditions very quickly and adapt accordingly.”

The spinner was confident about his team’s batting line-up, saying that whoever is selected for the game “is ready to come in and do a job for the side”.

“I think the good thing about our team is that most batters can bat in various positions, which gives us the depth that we need when having a lot of top order batters. We’ll have a little bit of a shuffle in the batting line-up to sort of slot in our batters as such.

“But like I said, I think everyone is adaptable to batting any position at this given time and everyone is hitting the ball really nicely. I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of an unsettlement of the batting order.”

–IANS

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