About the Match
The Proteas fly to Sri Lanka to play five ODIs and three T20Is and the first of which to be played on 20th July at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo at 9:00pm GMT. It is beginning of new phase for South African Cricket as Russell Domingo takes Gary Kirsten’s place as the coach of this team. With it, they’d be hoping to replicate their consistency of Test Cricket in ODI format as well. Sri Lanka would have yet another new captain in Dinesh Chandimal, but this time it is a forced change as their regular skipper Angelo Mathews was banned for two ODIs
due to slow over rate. Both the teams are in rebuilding process and it should be an interesting contest.
It has been the same old story for Sri Lanka as far as the results are concerned. They made it to knockout stage for two tournaments in a row, but failed to win the title. They played well in Caribbean Islands in a tri-series in which they lost to India in the final game. Once again, a lot will depend on how Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene perform as the rest of the team is relatively young and inexperienced. Angelo Mathews scored runs and picked wickets in Champions Trophy and in Tri-series, and his absence might hurt them. With Malinga and Kulasekara, their bowling looks pretty good, especially at home conditions with spinners like Herath and Mendis. Sri Lankans have had a decent outing in last two series and despite absence of their regular skipper, it will be tough to beat them.
It will be first outing for the Proteas after Champions Trophy and they’ll be fresher and fatigue free as compared to their opponents. NotuUnlike Sri Lanka, South Africa too were knocked out in the Semifinals by England, perfectly justifying their ‘Chokers’ tag. Under the new coach, they’ll be looking to remove that tag and replicate the success they’ve had in longest format in ODIs too. They have two of World’s best batsmen in AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, and other guys can hit the ball long a long way too. On paper, they have the batting and bowling lineup as good as any in the world, and beating them will certainly be a tough ask.
As the head to head record goes, it is pretty even with South Africa winning on 25 occasions and losing on 24 out of 51 games played. However, South Africans haven’t had best of outings in Sri Lanka and their last and only win here came in 1993. Can South Africa remove that spot and win in Sri Lanka after 20 years? The absence of Mathews makes Sri Lanka a little vulnerable and with the team the Proteas have, they are more likely to emerge on top in first ODI.
South Africa, 2.00 @ William Hill
Comlin Ingram has tasted success quite early in his career and he now finds him in a new role of opening the innings. Hashim Amla has been in terrific form and he is perhaps one of the best openers in World Cricket over past two years. I think that Amla and Ingram form a pretty good opening pair and it would be difficult for Sri Lanka to pick one of these before the mark of 23-runs.
Fall of 1st South Africa Wicket:
Over 23.5, 1.83 @ William Hill