Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Third ODI Preview

Cricket ball and bails on field

The Proteas will look to wrap up their five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka with two games to spare when the teams meet in Kandy on Sunday. 

South Africa took a 2-0 lead in their five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka with another convincing win at Dambulla on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka will be hoping that a change in ground will usher in a change of fortunes following their amateurish display in the field in the second One Day International. South Africa, meanwhile, will be hoping for more of the same in Kandy.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa | Sunday 5 August | Pallekele International Stadium | 06:30

To Win Match
Sri Lanka 31/20
Tie 35/1
South Africa 53/100

Sri Lanka
The sooner Sri Lanka forget about the second ODI in Dambulla the better. They were absolutely awful in the field with two simple chances being grassed, allowing Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock to effectively take the game away from the hosts before the 13th over was through.

Of course, fielding will have to improve… and one can only assume that there will be a better showing when the teams take the field in Kandy. Batting, however, remains the islander’s chief concern. Once again, only two players - Niroshan Dickwella (69) and Angelo Matthews (79) - managed scores of any substance as the rest of the XI each fell for fewer than 20.

Another concern will be the fitness of their skipper. Matthews looked incredibly uncomfortable toward the back end of the innings raising further questions about his fitness. One can’t help but feel for the big all-rounder with the amount injusry setbacks he's had to endure throughout the back end of his career.

Akila Dananjaya remains the host’s most potent weapon with the ball. The off-spinner has now picked up six wickets in two matches with many of the South African batsmen struggling to pick his variations throughout this series.

South Africa
The Proteas continue to impress in the intermediate form of the game with Both de Kock and Amla getting some much-needed runs as the visitors cruised to a four-wicket victory. The win, however, was set up by the bowlers with both Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phelukwayo coming good after poor performances in the first ODI.

Phelukwayo was particularly impressive. His variations – especially the knuckleball – toward the death really caught the eye. His continued development bodes very well for the South Africans as the World Cup approaches. Mulder impressed too, conceding just 26 runs in his seven overs while picking up the wicket of Prabath Jayasuriya.

The only two players in any immediate danger of facing the axe are Aiden Markram and David Miller. You feel that the coaching staff will persist with Markram, however, Miller’s lean spell could well see Heinrich Klaasen drafted into the playing XI.

Other than that, I can’t really see the side being tinkered with before this match. I’d imagine Ottis Gibson wanting to secure the series win before playing around too much different combinations. The wait will likely continue for Junior Dala who has yet to make his ODI debut.

Verdict: South Africa 53/100
On the evidence of the first two One Day Internationals, I simply can’t see any result bar a South African win. They’ve been better in all departments in this leg of the tour and are tipped to secure the series down in Kandy. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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