18 Mar 2015

SA captain says Proteas won't choke

7:36 am on 18 March 2015

South Africa's cricket captain AB de Villiers is adamant his team won't produce another World Cup choke in today's first quarter-final against a Sri Lankan side claiming home advantage and chasing a third straight final appearance.

The South Africa cricket captain AB de Villiers.

The South Africa cricket captain AB de Villiers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Proteas go into the Sydney encounter never having won any of their five knockout matches at previous World Cups, while Sri Lanka have finished runners-up in the last two tournaments.

South Africa decided against a training session yesterday to keeop themselves fresh.

Sri Lanka's skipper Angelo Mathews says they've really enjoyed playing in Sydney, where their boisterous fans made more noise than the local supporters in the recent pool game against Australia.

While South Africa have lost all five of their previous World Cup knockout games, Sri Lanka appear to have a more successful formula, having finished runners-up in the last two tournaments.

Mathews says the key is to not put pressure on themselves and play positively and aggressively.

Meanwhile Pakistan have been dealt a blow going into their quarter-final against Australia with the news that their towering left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Irfan will miss the rest of the tournament due to a stress fracture of the pelvis.

Pakistan play Australia in their quarter-final in Adelaide on Friday, but they'll wait until after the match before asking for a replacement.

Irfan, who's two metres 16, or 7 feet tall, extracted steep bounce from the pitches in Australia and here, and took eight wickets in five matches.

The 1992 champions had two other pace bowlers, Junaid Khan and Umar Gul ruled out before the start of the tournament.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.