South Africa v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI Preview: Inspired Visitors Look To Avoid Whitewash
Sri Lanka’s show of fight in the fourth ODI at Johannesburg has instilled excitement among fans, making the fifth ODI a bit anticipated one despite the home side standing just one step away from a whitewash. Sri Lanka definitely sprung up a surprise by challenging the South Africans. Chasing a target of 368 for their first win of the ODI leg, the Lankans, inspired by Upul Tharanga’s century, look pretty well set of getting to the total before losing their way towards the end and folding up for just 327 runs to lose the match by 40 runs.
The performance at the Newlands should be a motivating factor for them as they look to avoid a humiliation. However, thinking that the resistance from Sri Lanka in the previous ODI would cause any alarm in the Proteas camp would be illogical. The host would perhaps come out with much more intent and aggression to press their dominance. To conclude, South Africa will start as the favourites yet again while Sri Lanka would hope that their batsmen stand up to the challenge for the one last time this series and save the team from getting utterly demoralised before the Champions Trophy.
South Africa bowlers felt some pressure for the first time in in a while a couple of days ago. But, they did a commendable job by pulling off the game eventually. The playing conditions for the upcoming match is also expected to be similar with Centurion being a batting friendly venue with assistance for pace bowlers. This obviously is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time as the bowler. If unlucky like the last game, the Proteas quicks might go for runs in plenty or else can completely dismantle the opposition.
What would happen remains to be seen but the Proteas think tank would certainly be pondering over adding extra firepower in the bowling attack. The first option seems to bring back Chris Morris in place of chinaman Tabraiz Shami. The wrist spinner looked ineffective despite all his variations and keeping him in the side knowing that there would be no assistance would be insensible. Morris’ inclusion on the other hand also strengthens the batting order. De Villiers would also hope the struggling Hashim Amla to fire. The opener has been silent in the last three games. The rest of the line-up might not see anything change.
Tharanga made a bold move by resting his designated vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal and squeezing in Sadun Weerakody in the middle order. With no pressure of facing the new ball anymore, Sadun did a fantastic job and hit his maiden fifty while keeping the fight alive during the chase. The skipper would be really happy with the way the youngster responded to the second chance.
With the batting order responding to the call for the first time, Sri Lanka won’t tinker with the combination. Unfortunately, this means the out of form Chandimal might have to warm the bench tomorrow as well. The visitors should also think about having only one spinner. Maybe resting chinaman Sandakan to bring in Suranga Lakmal would add weight in the bowling department.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (C), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris/Tabraiz Shamsi, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir
Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Upul Tharanga (C), Kusal Mendis, Sadun Weerakody, Dhanajaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Suranga Lakmal
Stats That Matter:
- AB de Villiers has scored 8,899 runs, and needs 101 more to become the second South African player to reach the 9,000 runs milestone.
- Nuwan Kulasekara has taken 195 wickets and needs 5 more to become the fifth Sri Lankan player to reach the 200 wickets milestone.
Match begins at 5.00 PM IST
Who Said What?
“My blueprint of scoring is eliminating dots,” Faf du Plessis
“Our main concern is batting, this was better, hopefully, we do well on Friday,” Upul Tharanga
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