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|Faf du Plessis||49||41||3||2||119.51|
|Quinton de Kock||87||78||13||1||111.54|
After a terrible test series, South Africa began their post-AB de Villiers era and World Cup preparations with a solid win in the first ODI against Sri Lanka. The win would have been a much-needed consolation for the Proteas especially after the kind of hammering they received in the longest format of the game. The shift to the ODIs has evened the odds, and the Proteas will be looking forward to the second game after a convincing win in the first one.
Batting first in the opening ODI, the hosts were reduced to 36 for 5, thanks to a fiery spell form Kagiso Rabada. Following the collapse in the initial overs, Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera stitched together a counter-attacking partnership to take them out of the troubles. However, the lack of support from any other batsmen saw them fold for just 197.
There was a big change in Sri Lanka's batting order as compared to the tests. Niroshan Dickwella found himself back at the top of the order and Upul Tharanga returned back to the squad. Their collapse could be called as a one-off failure of the batting order and with Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera in fine form, their batting will look good on paper.
Bowling-wise, Sri Lanka fared well despite defending a low total. Akila Dananjaya bowled accurately and dismissed Amla and Markram to bring the hosts back in the game. However, all other bowlers failed to put any pressure whatsoever on Proteas which eventually led to a five-wicket defeat.
Niroshan Dickwella, WU Tharanga, Kusal Mendis , Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Shehan Jayasuriya, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Prabath Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha.
The Proteas were done and dusted in the tests but tose like a phoenix in the ODIs. Despite the absence of Morne Morkel and AB de Villiers, the way South Africa performed in the opening match was commendable.
Bowling first, Kagiso Rabada bowled with pace and aggression and dismissed four Sri Lankan batsmen to put South Africa in the driving seat. Just when Sri Lanka looked well set to take the advantage of final overs, Tabraiz Shamsi rocked them by taking the wickets of Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera with the wicket of Akila Dananjaya in between. Sri Lanka were eventually restricted for 193.
Not unlike the Proteas, Sri Lanka, too, needed quick wickets upfront to stay in the game. Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram carried their poor form into the ODIs as well and failed to put up a good score. Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, however, batted well to take the Proteas in a winning position before JP Duminy sealed the deal by scoring a half-century in just 32 deliveries.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, PWA Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi.
Batting first didn't prove to be fruitful for Sri Lanka in the first game. Being a day-night match, dew will play an important role here. Therefore, the team winning the toss should bowl first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It was a decent batting wicket in the first match barring the first few overs. It's expected to be better this time with the match scheduled to begin in the afternoon. Dew will play a crucial role and defending will be difficult here.
South Africa applied simple tactics to negate any spin Sri Lankan bowlers were able to extract. The return of JP Duminy instilled belief in their batsmen following an excellent performance from their bowlers. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, lacked aggression and discipline they displayed in the longest format of the match. South Africa will take the confidence gained from the win into the next match and given the way they did in the first match, they look well poised to register a win and take a 2-0 win in the second match.
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