Pitch mystery for South Africa and Sri Lanka

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 27, 2007 (AFP) – South Africa and Sri Lanka will be entering new territory when they meet in a World Cup Super Eight match at the Guyana National Stadium Wednesday.

Rain prevented both teams from practising Monday and the pitch remained under cover, so the players could not make any assessment of it.

South African coach Mickey Arthur said he hoped the pitch would have more pace and bounce than Guyana’s old international ground, the Bourda in Georgetown, which was notoriously low and slow.

“We have been told by (International Cricket Council pitch consultant) Andy Atkinson that it should have reasonable bounce,” said Arthur.

More rain was predicted for Tuesday but it is expected to clear Wednesday, although there may be scattered thundershowers.

It is a crucial match for South Africa, who were beaten by Australia in their group decider in St Kitts on Saturday, whereas 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka carried two points through to the Super Eight phase after defeating fellow qualifiers Bangladesh.

The previous World Cup meeting between the two sides was dramatic.

When rain ended play in Durban in 2003 the scores were tied on