South Africa will look to go 2-0 up in the ODI series against Sri Lanka when the sides meet at Kingsmead on Tuesday.
The Sri Lankans were dispatched with consummate ease by a well-oiled South African side at St. George’s Park last weekend. Imran Tahir and Wayne Parnell starred with the ball as the visitors were skittled for just 181 in front of a jubilant Port Elizabeth crowd.
The runs were knocked off with minimal fuss by the South African top order with Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla helping themselves to half-centuries. The two sides now turn their attention to Durban, where fans will be hoping for a repeat of the last Kingsmead ODI which saw the Proteas chase down a record total against Australia.
South Africa vs Sri Lanka | Wednesday 1 February | Kingsmead, Durban | 13:30
To Win Match
South Africa 1/9 | Tie 35/1 | Sri Lanka 6/1
Russel Domingo welcomed his big guns back with open arms following what proved to be a farcical T20 series against the Asians. As was expected, they got the job done against the visiting Sri Lankans without really breaking a sweat in typically blustery Port Elizabeth conditions.
Imran Tahir was magnificent over the weekend, as he ran through the middle order with a world-class display of leg-spin which saw him finish on 3-26 without conceding a boundary. It was the sort of performance you hope to see from your premier bowler in the build-up to a major ICC event.
While Tahir grabbed all of the headlines, it’s worth mentioning the work that Wayne Parnell got through. The Cobra’s all-rounder has grabbed his opportunity with both hands following the controversy surrounding Kyle Abbott.
Getting rid of both openers in his first two overs and finishing on figures of 48-3, Parnell appears to be cementing his place in the side that will travel to England and Wales later this year for the ICC Champions Trophy. The one thing that’s been lacking in the South African attack for a long time (with Messers. Philander, Steyn, Morkel and Rabada) at the helm was a genuine left-arm seam option.
Parnell fills that gap quite nicely and will be looking to more damage to the Sri Lankans down in Durban. Chris Morris also made his return to the team following a long-term injury. He bowled with pace and consistently landed the ball in the right sort of areas as he grabbed two wickets at an economy of 3.05 from his 9.3 overs.
There’s not much to say about the top order. Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers let their records do the speaking. They made short work of a sub-par total and will be keen to assert their dominance on the visiting attack again come Wednesday.
Looking ahead, I don’t really see any weaknesses that can be exploited by the Sri Lankans. They’re a formidable unit and shouldn’t really have too many issues brushing the visitors aside come Wednesday. Expect the side to remain the same if there are no late injury scares.
All the confidence that the Sri Lankans would have taken from the T20 segment of the series evaporated in the wind at St. George’s Park at the weekend. They were comprehensively outplayed by the South Africans and never looked like getting anything from this match.
It’s now time to refocus for the Asians. Failure to put the St. George’s park defeat out of their heads could prove disastrous. Sri Lanka have been at their most effective in One Day Cricket when they’ve adopted a maverick play-style.
The likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Arjuna Ranatunga and Kumar Sangakkara never feared the opposition – no matter where they were playing or who they were playing against.
There’s a certain timidity about their current side. Not sure whether they’re moving forward in this rebuilding phase or simply remaining stagnant. Something needs to change for the Asians. It’s not like they’re without class players. Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Lakshan Sandakan are all world class players in their own right.
They need to step it up against South Africa in the second ODI in the same manner in which Mendis battled in the first before falling victim to Tahir. Without the fight and the fearless attitude that has been a hallmark of Sri Lankan sides in the past, they’ll go down 5-0 in this series.
Verdict: South Africa 1/9
There’s absolutely no value here at 1/9, but I simply don’t see any other result (unless the weather decides to intervene). If you’re looking for an outright match bet, take the 1/9; if you’re looking for a bit more value, check out our value bet below.
Value Bet: Hashim Amla to top score for South Africa at 11/4
Amla has a magnificent record at Kingsmead in ODI cricket, bagging 364 runs in just eight matches at an average of 45.60. Combine these numbers with the fact that he’s rediscovered the form that made him such a force in world cricket and you’ve got a good little bit of value here.