SOUTH AFRICA TOUR OF SRI LANKA, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
The Faf du Plessis-led South African side would look to build on their fine show in the first ODI © Getty
Faf, SA captain: Second time playing on this pitch. Obviously, first 10 overs, something can happen. Bit of green on the pitch, lots of dried patches in between. We have some X-factor pace bowlers who can make a difference. Our intensity in the chase was perfect. There were few fumbles in the field, there were also few soft overs with the ball in the middle. Will look to improve on that. Same team.
Mathews, SL captain: We’ll have a bat first. First 8-10 overs are crucial, we have that in the back of the mind. But we aren’t going to be negative. Forced to leave Kumara out, he split his webbing. Prabhat makes his debut in place of Sandakan.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews(c), Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Prabath Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha
South Africa (Playing XI): Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Willem Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi
Two debutants for Sri Lanka, Prabath Jayasuriya received his ODI cap from Piyal Wijetunge and Kasun Rajitha received his cap from Rumesh Ratnayake.
— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) August 1, 2018
Sri Lanka have won the toss and again opted to bat. Now that is a bit surprising as most teams, these days, opt to chase in limited overs cricket.
However, the same surface on which the two teams locked horns in the first game is being used. And the curator perhaps has left the track dry, without really watering it. So that could be the reason to take first strike.
Meanwhile, it is a great day for Rajitha and Prabath Jayasuriya, as they are making their ODI debuts for the home side. Rajitha burst on the scene with a superb show of seam bowling (three scalps) in his maiden T20I versus India two years ago. On the other hand, P Jayasuriya is a left arm spinner.
After a disappointing show in Tests, South Africa made a great start to their ODI leg of the Sri Lanka tour with a comfortable five-wicket victory in Dambulla. On a track which offered pace and bounce, Rabada tore through the top order to snare a four-wicket haul, while Shamsi ran through the cream of the lower order with a four-for.
Du Plessis and Duminy, the senior hands, then played with maturity as they chased down a modest target of 194 in just 31 overs. In the second game, the hosts would look towards their top order batsmen – Dickwella, Tharanga and Mendis – to stand up against the new ball. As the second ODI (played at the same ground) turns out to be a D/N fixture, one might not witness the early morning moisture, which in turn could have helped the pace bowlers.
For Sri Lanka, Lahiru Kumara, the tearaway, injured his finger during a net session just before the game and will miss the second ODI. Rajitha, the seam bowler, might take his place in the side. The home team would hope for their spinners – Dananjaya, S Jayasuriya and Sandakan – to cause most of the damage. Meanwhile, the visitors might be tempted to bring in Klaasen.
It has to be remembered that South Africa have won just one bilateral ODI series in the island nation and that came in 2014.