About the Match
After an emphatic 3-0 Test series victory for the hosts against Sri Lanka, South Africa is geared up for the 3-match T20 series with the 1st T20 scheduled to be held at Centurion on 20th January. The Proteas put up an all-round performance in the longer format of the game and now the young guns of the team will try to kick-start the T20 series with a win; Sri Lanka on the other hand, suffered a batting debacle and will try to start afresh here. It needs to be seen which side can cleverly use the resources at hand to dominate the other and emerge victorious on Friday.
Batting all-rounder Farhaan Behardien will lead the side that consists of experienced batsmen like David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, Heino Kuhn, JJ Smuts and Mangaliso Mosehle, who have done well in recent outings in this format of the game. They could focus on building solid partnerships from the top and middle order with players like Miller and Behardien guiding the youngsters in the side.
With the ball, Imran Tahir will lead the spin attack and he can be ruthless when it comes to stifling the opposition with the run-flow; Aaron Phangiso and JJ Smuts will bring depth to the spin attack and can combine well to outwit the visitors here. Fast-bowlers like Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson and Theunis de Bruyn could provide quick breakthroughs and along with youngsters like Lungi Ngidi and Hendricks, South Africa definitely can make life difficult for Sri Lanka batsmen.
Overall, this is a motivated side with most players having done well in the recently concluded domestic series and they will be eager to grab this opportunity to showcase their skills here.
Angelo Mathews led Sri Lanka team put up a dismal show with the bat and they will have much to prove in the upcoming T20 series here away from home. The batting line-up consists of players like Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and all-rounders like Danushka Gunathilaka, Sachith Pathirana and Sekkuge Prasanna, who could try and stabilize the innings from the middle. Mathews has not been at his personal best with the bat and could try to lead from the front in the shorter format of the game.
The bowling squad has in-form fast bowlers like Nuwan Pradeep, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal and youngsters like Isuru Udana and Gunaratne, who bring variety to the attack. Spinners Seekugge Prasanna, Sachith Pathirana and left-arm Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan bring their clever variations to the table and along with others like Dhananjaya de Silva and Danushka Gunathilaka, add depth to the bowling attack.
They may be down on morale but have good resources to bounce back provided they can build a solid foundation at the top-order whether batting first or during the chase. The bowlers have been consistently taking wickets, and they could form a strategy that suits the ground conditions here.
Sri Lanka is on a back foot after the disappointing test series defeat but the youngsters will try to give their best here with a renewed vigour; South Africa on the other hand, has been in good form and with the home advantage to their side, look clear favorites to win the match on Friday.