'Proteas won't choke against Sri Lanka'

AB de Villiers believes they'll shake the tag off and they're going to approach the match with ease.

FILE: Proteas captain AB de Villiers plays a shot during the 2015 Cricket World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground on February 27, 2015.  Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The pressure is on the Proteas ahead of tomorrow's Cricket World Cup quarterfinal against Sri Lanka.

The 'chokers' tag have followed the South Africans throughout tournaments as they've never won in the knockout stages of the world cup.

Captain AB de Villiers believes they will shake the tag off tomorrow and they're going to approach the match with ease.

"All I can say is we're not going to choke. We are just going to play a good game of cricket tomorrow and come out on top, simple."

The Proteas won four out of their six pool matches, having lost to India and Pakistan De Villiers does not think the team is off form.

"I don't believe we've been awful in this tournament. I think we've had a pretty decent tournament so far, we finished second on the log. We had a tough game against India where things could have been different and that's about it.

"Other than that, we played some good cricket against Pakistan. I was not too upset about that except for the fact that we didn't show enough fight with the bat in hand but bowled exceptionally well. We're in a very good space and we're going to win tomorrow."

Coach Russel Domingo says they only have themselves to blame for the label, but the team is working hard to avoid what previous teams couldn't achieve.

"It's been part of South African cricket for period of time that every time we get to this events there is going to be questions. We spoke about it, there is no doubt about it.

"We've faced it upfront in the past we've let opportunities past by us and hopefully we'd have learned from the lessons that the previous sides have made in events like this and by all means we want to try and make sure that doesn't happen to us."

While the Sri Lankans soar in the knockout stages and are well aware of the Proteas poor record, captain Angelo Mathews says his side is still nervous.

"We all know that South Africa is a very hard team to beat especially in this tournament. They've come out really hard and they've a good balance team. So history is history, you can't really take anything from it and you've got to move on and statistics don't really bother.

"That day we've to go out there and defeat the South Africans."

Mathews knows where his team needs to improve and says his side has been lacking in the bowling department.

"Our bowling and fielding has lacking. We've not been at our best and the batters have been pretty good, so I think we need ti improve on our bowling and fielding tomorrow."