South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI : Preview and Predicted Playing XI
The hosts South Africa plundered Sri Lanka by eight wickets to claim early honours in the ODI series. Now both teams will head to the SuperSport Park in Centurion for the second One Day International to be held on Wednesday, March 6.
Head to Head: The Proteas and the Islanders have met in 71 completed ODI fixtures. The Africans undoubtedly lead the head to head scoreline by securing 39 wins, while the Lankans have sealed the glory on 31 occasions, with one fixture ending in a tie.
Head to Head in South Africa: In the 29 One Day matches played in the African Nation, the Proteas have had the better of Sri Lanka on 21 occasions.
The Proteas came with a much better intent in the opening fixture and seemed to have no effect of their poor Test show against the same opponents. At home, the hosts have never lost an ODI series against the visitors, while after 2013, they have lost just one bilateral ODI series and that was against India in February 2018.
In the opening match of the ODI series, skipper Faf du Plessis led from the front and played a match-defining innings to guide his team over the victory line. He played an undefeated 112 runs inning in the series opener and the team will need him to continue in a similar manner.
du Plessis was ably supported by Quinton de Kock (81 runs from 72 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (unbeaten 32 from 42 balls). While de Kock took an aggressive route, Rassie pled a second fiddle to his skipper and it will be essential that both these batsmen continue their good work with the bat in the upcoming game.
On the bowling front, Imran Tahir was the pick of the lot by picking three wickets for just 26 runs and he will once again be skipper's go-to man during the middle overs. Meanwhile, Lungi Ngidi too picked three wickets but was quite expensive, leaking 60 runs in his ten overs and he would love to rectify that in the next game.
Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje picked up one wicket each in the first match and the duo will be expected to keep things tight.
Expected Playing XI
Faf du Plessis (C), David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock (W) and Rassie van der Dussen.
The Islanders, on the other hand, are struggling in this format and have lost 11 of their last 12 bilateral series. However, they can take confidence from their performance in the Test series and look to put up a decent show in the second ODI.
Debutant Oshada Fernando missed out on a well deserved fifty by one run in the first ODI and he will be itching to get it in next game. Kusal Mendis top-scored for the visitors with 60 runs in the series opener and he along with De Silva (39) forms a good combination in the middle order and they will be expected to make healthy contributions in case of top order fallout.
Kusal Perera, the star of the recently concluded Test series was also in good touch during his short 33 run outing and he will be eager to repeat his Test heroics to help the Islanders level the honours in the second ODI.
The bowlers completely ran out of ideas in the earlier clash and seemed helpless against the African top order. The likes of Vishwa Fernando and Akila Dhananjaya would look to be more penetrative against the South African batters.
The experienced duo of Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera failed to be among the wickets in the first game. While Malinga would like to pick up some wickets with the new ball, Perera would be expected to keep things tight and pick up wickets during the middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Lasith Malinga (C), Lakshan Sandakan/Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella (W), Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera and Akila Dananjaya.