The 5-match series between Sri Lanka and South Africa is now evenly poised after two matches and the series is in balance at 1-1. South Africa started the series by inflicting a thumping victory over the Lankans in their home soil by the aid of the batting brilliance of Hashim Amla and AB De Villiers. Sri Lankan batting collapsed in the first ODI but in the second ODI they came back strongly and did manage to put up a marvellous performance both with the bat and the ball to register an 87-run victory over the Proteas.
The third of the 5-match ODI will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on tomorrow. It will be a day game and will start from 10:00AM IST. This match is a highly important one and both teams will look to take lead in the series.
For the visitors, Hashim Amla looks to be in prime form this year and he is carrying the same in this year too. He struck Centuries in each of the two matches and in the first ODI, his century proved to be the match winner for his team. He tried his heart and soul out in the second ODI too but did not manage to win the match for his team. He is the leading run-scorer of the tournament with 210 runs in 2 matches at an average of 105.00.
With such kind of a batsman at the top of the line up, really strengthens the team to a considerable extent. But the other opener Quinton De Kock struggled in each of the matches and he looks to be getting in trouble in the typical sub-continental pitches. Also their middle order, in the likes of Kallis, Duminy and David Miller did not manage to up a strong enough performance. This might be a cause of worry for them and they have to improve things on the matter. The only man in the middle order who seems to be in touch is AB De Villiers. This man, as we all know is perhaps one of the greatest batsmen in the modern era. He played a blistering knock of 75 runs in the first match. He got a start in the second match but did not manage to capitalize on that. The bowling attack, led by the lightning pace of Dale Steyn is immensely strong. There are bowlers like Philander, Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren. Also the spinning brilliance of Imran Tahir can come up handy in the third ODI.
The Sri Lankan team is going through a peak time throughout the year. After their victory in England recently they were dodged with confidence. Although they lost the first ODI badly but they did make a strong enough bounce back in the second ODI. They also will come up with a positive mindset as their one of the key all-rounders, Tilekeratne Dilshan is in a great form and made a tremendous performance with the bat and the ball on the other day.
He scored 86 runs and took 3 wickets. The Lankan batting line up do not lack experience and they do possess the magical duo in their batting in the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena. Also they do possess some great talents in their batting line up like Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirmanne and the captain Angelo Mathews himself. Their bowling attack, led by Malinga is immensely strong too and did manage to bundle the entire South African innings under 190 runs. It will be keenly seen whether the Lankan bowlers manage to put up a brilliant performance with the ball in the third ODI too as it will be played on a batting dominant pitch. A good sign for them is Malinga is back in form and took 4 wickets in the first match.
The third ODI will be very much important for both the teams and the winner will be in lead. We hope to get a good game of cricket.
Sri Lanka: Kushal Janith Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews(c), Ashan Priyanjan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Dilruwan Perera
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso