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South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Fifth ODI Preview
South Africa and Sri Lanka clash for the final time in the bi-lateral series at SuperSport Park Centurion this Friday.
AB de Villiers and his men will be looking to complete their second successive 5-0 home ODI series win when they face off against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park Centurion this Friday.
Can the Sri Lankans build on a good performance at Newlands or will the Proteas put in another dominant display at a ground where they’ve not tasted defeat since March 2013?
South Africa vs Sri Lanka | Friday 10 January | Centurion, Pretoria | 13:30
To Win Match
South Africa 1/9 | Tie 35/1 | Sri Lanka 13/2
The Proteas, despite all of their dominance with the bat, were made to sweat by the Sri Lankans in the early and middle stages of their run chase. The South African quicks probably did just about enough to secure victory with Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius and Kagiso Rabada turning the screw as the spinners and part-timers were carted all over the shop.
They shouldn’t have too much of an issue dealing with the Sri Lankans up in Pretoria. The wicket will be quick and will offer plenty of bounce for the quicks. It’s no secret that the visitors don’t enjoy the ball flying past their grills on the Highveld, as much was evident at the Wanderers.
Batting wise, all eyes will be on Hashim Amla as he struggles to rediscover the form that saw him shoot to prominence a few years ago. Poor shot selection and a lack of decisive foot movement has left South Africa’s premier batsman’s ODI career hanging by a thread.
There are no such worries across the rest of the South African top and middle order. De Kock, du Plessis, AB Villiers, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien all look good and should have little trouble amassing a pretty sizey total this Friday – especially considering that most of these guys ply List A and First-Class trade in Gauteng.
They know the conditions well and will be keen to lay down one more marker before they go up against the more formidable New Zealanders.
While they showed a lot more fight in the Newlands ODI, the Sri Lankans were ultimately the masters of their own demise. They were in with a shout at 307-4, however, an all too familiar collapse from the Asians in which they lost six wickets for just 20 runs saw them fall 50 runs short of their target.
The groundwork for their ultimately unsuccessful run chase was laid by the opening duo of Niroshan Dickwella and Upal Tharanga. The pair put on 139 for the first wicket before the former was caught on the deep square-leg boundary by Behardien after a well-directed short ball from Pretorius.
Tharanga would go on to score a 90-ball 119 before falling to Parnell.
There was late resistance from Sandun Weerakkody and Asela Gunaratne which would prove futile as the last six wickets fell for a paltry 20 runs.
Things got off to the worst possible start for the visiting side. Despite removing Amla in the second over, the Sri Lankan bowlers were always on the back foot as Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers pushed the score along with consummate ease.
Only Sachith Pathirana – a relatively inexperienced slow left-arm orthodox bowler – could keep his economy rate below six to the over as the rest of the attack leaked runs far too easily. They’ll need to put in a better display this Friday at a ground where the hosts have blown teams out of the water.
All that said, I simply don’t see it happening. Graham Ford’s men will battle to remain competitive on the Highveld.
Verdict: South Africa 1/9
There’s absolutely no value here on the South African win but I just can’t see any other result on a fast, bouncy deck up in Pretoria. With Morris likely to come in for one of the spinners and Rabada worrying batsmen with his pace, this shouldn’t really be as much of a contest as the Newlands match was.
Value Bet: Quinton de Kock to top score for South Africa 11/4
Quinnie is an absolute monster at this ground. In the five ODIs he’s played at Centurion he’s manged an incredible 433-runs at an average of 86.60. Who can forget his last ODI knock at this ground against Australia where he blasted his way to 178 off just 113 balls as the Proteas made short work of their 294-run target.