South Africa looked lost as they were searching for answers and couldn’t find any in the Test series against the hosts Sri Lanka. On dusty, low surfaces, South Africa didn’t have any way to conquer the spin trio of Rangana Herath, Akila Dananjaya and Dilruwan Perera.
South Africa were steamrolled in the Test series and were looking to put those thoughts away and get to winning ways on their tour of the island nation. And that’s exactly what happened as the change in format bought about a change in fortunes for the visitors.
Sri Lanka, in coloured clothing, just don’t know how to win games. They have forgotten the art of controlling the crucial moments of a game. Taking advantage of shifts in momentum in an ODI or T20I game is something this team has forgotten.
And that’s visible in the results- they have lost nine ODI series in a row now including a home series against Zimbabwe, post which, Angelo Mathews stepped down as ODI captain. The same player had to step into the captain's shoes against the Proteas owing to the ban imposed on their regular skipper- Dinesh Chandimal.
The ODI series resembled a typical Sri Lankan performance, what we have sadly been accustomed to. Very few players standing up and performing, a listless bowling unit and just that as a team they are not able to put up a complete performance.
Things are not going to be too different when the teams lock horns in a one-off T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on August 14th, 2018. With the momentum on their side and with many of their big players standing up, Sri Lanka are going to find it hard to dislodge this Proteas side.
Here’s looking at three reasons why South Africa will win the only T20I against Sri Lanka:
Jean-Paul Duminy’s resurgence a big positive for South Africa
Post the void created by the retirement of AB de Villers from all forms of the game and with the middle order looking vulnerable for South Africa in recent times, it was important that the regular fixtures of their team took up the responsibility and delivered.
It is indeed very good to see the talented all-rounder JP Duminy find good match-winning form in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. That automatically adds more potency to the Proteas middle order as an in-form JP Duminy can play both spinners and fast bowlers well and is capable of providing the finishing touches to the innings - while putting up a score or chasing down totals.
South Africa are looking to fill in the void in the middle order and David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen can attack from the word go.
Sri Lanka haven’t been able to get the measure of JP Duminy as yet in the ODI series. They need to find ways of keeping him quiet in the one-off T20I in order to stand a good chance of winning the game. Having scored 1822 runs in 76 T20Is at an average of 37.96 at a strike rate of 124.79, there is proven match-winning talent in this fine all-rounder.