South Africa vs Sri Lanka, First ODI: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After drubbing South Africa in the longest format of the game, Sri Lanka will now look to extend their dominance in the five-match ODI series, when they gave Africans in the first match at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla on Sunday, July 29.
Both teams have faced each other in 65 ODIs. The hosts have won 29 of those while the visitors have won 35 with one match ended in a tie.
Their most recent clash was in June 2017 at the Champions Trophy. Hashim Amla’s century set the tone and Faf du Plessis weighed in with 75 in a score of 299/6. In reply, Imran Tahir claimed 4/27 from 8.3 overs as South Africa restricted Sri Lanka to 203 all out.
Skipper Angelo Mathews is fit again and ready to reprise his role in charge of the ODI team which could be a big boost for the team. While Dinesh Chandimal has not been selected despite captaining the team in Mathews’ absence as he serves a four-match ODI ban following the ball-tampering row in the West Indies. The Islanders are coming on the back of test series victory, which should give them confidence and momentum heading into the ODI's.
Sri Lankan batting strength resides mainly in Upul Tharanga, who has scored 307 runs in his last ten ODIs during a lean spell for Sri Lanka’s ODI batsmen. That includes 56 in their win in the tri-Series final against Bangladesh and an unbeaten 39 in the previous game as Sri Lanka chased just 83 to win. While Mathews averages 41.86 with the bat in ODIs and his performance will be crucial in deciding the fate of the game.
With the ball, Suranga Lakmal took 3/21 in the first Test and Akila Dhananjaya impressed with figures of 5/52, 2/67 in the second Test. While Thisara Perera has 16 wickets in his last ten ODIs. These three will be the biggest threat to Africa in ODI's.
Expected Playing XI: Angelo Mathews (C), Shehan Jayasuriya, Suranga Lakmal, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera and Lakshan Sandakan.
South Africa were in poor form in the Test series between these two and they lost their most recent series against India 5-1. In Test series, They have been outplayed in all three facets of the game and they have not been able to push the Sri Lankan at all in Test series. Scores of 126, 73 and 124, 290 respectively in the two matches clearly reflect the struggles the African batsmen have had against Islanders bowling attack.
With the bat, Hashim Amla scored a century when these two teams last met in an ODI and he has 384 runs in his last nine ODIs at an average of 48. He is likely to open the batting with Quinto de Kock, who has scored 394 in six ODI's. While skipper Faf du Plessis announced his comeback with a score of 71 from 60 balls in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI and will be hoping to continue it in ODI's as well.
With the ball, Kagiso Rabada took seven wickets at Galle in the first test. While Tabraiz Shamsi and Willem Mulder took 3/41 and 3/12 in warm-up match respectively and will be key in first ODI against Asian lineup.
Expected Playing XI: Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, Willem Mulder, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla.