Sri Lanka win toss and bat against South Africa in T20 World Cup

Ryan Rickelton of <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:South Africa;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">South Africa</a> warms up ahead of the ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup match against Sri Lanka in New York (ROBERT CIANFLONE)

Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga won the toss and elected to bat first in the teams' opening Group D match of the T20 World Cup in New York on Monday.

Hasaranga explained his decision by saying the pitch at the ground -- specially built for the tournament at Eisenhower Park in Long Island -- by saying: "The surface looks pretty good so we want to get a score on the board. We back our bowling attack, we know it's very strong and we can defend a total."

South Africa gave a World Cup debut to Ottneil Baartman after the paceman impressed in the SA20.

Left-armer Keshav Maharaj was the only spinner in the side, with the Proteas omitting Tabraiz Shamsi.

"We actually would have bowled so not too unhappy (at losing the toss)," said South Africa captain Aiden Markram.

"The team has been together now for a few years so more of the same, we feel like we've been playing good cricket.

"We did pretty well at the ODI World Cup (in India last year where South Africa lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Australia), ideally we would have liked to go a few steps further, so this is an opportunity at the T20 World Cup to hopefully do so."


South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wkt), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (capt), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ottneil Baartman

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wkt), Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Wanindu Hasaranga (capt), Dasun Shanaka, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Nuwan Thushara

Umpires: Chris Brown (NZL), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)