We preview the second ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka set to take place at SuperSport Park Centurion on Wednesday.
South Africa’s comprehensive eight-wicket victory in the first ODI up at the Wanderers was exactly the sort of response Faf du Plessis would have demanded from his charges following two disappointing Tests against the tourists.
The sides meet again on Wednesday at SuperSport Park Centurion after a short trip up the N1 from Johannesburg.
South Africa vs Sri Lanka | Wednesday 6 March | SuperSport Park Centurion | 13:00
To Win Match
South Africa 29/100
Sri Lanka 26/10
The perfect response indeed. Following their shock 2-0 Test series defeat, a strong showing in the limited overs segment of this tour was essential for the Proteas… especially with the World Cup looming large.
The bowlers laid the groundwork at the Wanderers with Lungi Ngidi making early inroads on his return to the national set-up. Imran Tahir showed exactly how valuable he is to the South African cause by putting in a masterful display in the middle overs only a few days after learning that CSA would not renew his central contract.
Tahir will no doubt play a central role up in Centurion, although he may not get as much assistance from the surface as he did in Johannesburg. The seam trio of Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje will be expected to play more central roles.
Looking at the batting, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock – both of whom cashed in at the Wanderers – will be salivating at the prospect of playing on their home track. Reeza Hendricks will want to put the disappointment of his failure in the first ODI behind him with a big performance at the top of the order.
We could see a bit of chopping and changing going into the second ODI, especially amongst the bowlers. I suspect Andile Phelukwayo will be given a run at the expense of either Dwaine Pretorius or Wiaan Mulder. Dale Steyn may feature too. We’ve also seen Tabraiz Shamsi and Tahir coming in and out of the teams at each other’s expense of late, so don’t be surprised to see a change in spinner.
The Sri Lankans would have been concerned with how easily the South Africans knocked off their total on Sunday. None of their bowlers managed to return economy rates of below 5 as de Kock and du Plessis put on 136 for the second wicket.
They looked vulnerable with bat in hand too, suffering another typically Sri Lankan collapse. The tourists went from 195-4 to 231 all-out as the South African attack – led by Tahir – turned the screw. The manner of some of the dismissals would have had Chandika Hathurusingha tearing his hair out – Oshada Fernando’s run-out chief among these.
Looking ahead, the Sri Lankans will need somebody to convert a promising start into a big 100. Perera (33), Fernando (49), Mendis (60) and de Silva (39) all failed to kick on with Dickwella and Tharanga failing at the top of the order. You feel that they aren’t too far off a complete performance but will need to offer more than a meagre 231 on South African pitches which typically see high-scoring ODIs.
We should get a full day’s worth of cricket in with very little to no rain expected on Wednesday evening and afternoon.
Verdict: South Africa 29/100
The Sri Lankans were comprehensively outplayed at the Wanderers on Sunday. Expect more of the same when the sides meet in Centurion.