Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga believes South Africa have a strong chance to make it to the semi-finals of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, which is slated to take place from May 30 to July 14 at the England and Wales.
Malinga's comments came after Sri Lanka slumped to a 0-5 series sweep in the five-match ODI series against South Africa in the lead-up to the mega 50-over event.
Heaping praise over South Africa's bowling attack, Malinga said that the Faf du Plessis-led side has intelligent fast bowlers and wicket-taking options.
"In the World Cup there will be similar conditions and they have very good fast bowlers who are intelligent and have skill.They know who to use that skill, and that's the important thing. They have wicket-taking options and they have a good bowling unit," Sport24 quoted the Sri Lankan skipper as saying.
Malinga, who has appeared in a total of 218 ODIs for Sri Lanka and played in three World Cups for the national side, further stressed that South Africa possess good fighting characters and match-winners who could guide the side to the top four of the tournament.
"In the World Cup you never know what can go on. Whoever does best on the day will win. They (South Africa) have good fighting characters and match-winners that the team needs.I think they have a good chance to get into the top four," he added.
South Africa will kick start their campaign at the 2019 ICC World Cup with a clash against hosts England at the Oval on May 30.