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The pressure will be on South Africa and off Sri Lanka when they clash at Centurion Park on Tuesday in the opening 2009 ICC Champions Trophy fixture.

South Africa need the cup to confirm what the world rankings have been saying for some time - that they are a class act when it comes to one-day international cricket.

But playing hosts in a sporting event is a double-edged sword with victories galvanising a nation and defeats having the opposite effect, especially in a country like South Africa where expectations are invariably sky high.

The least expected of the Graeme Smith-led Proteas is that they qualify for the October 5 final and many South Africans would dream that bitter rivals Australia provide the opposition and are conquered.

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