About the Match
Sri Lanka registered a 3-wicket victory against hosts South Africa in the 2nd T20 to keep the series alive; the two teams will now face off in the 3rd and final T20 at Cape Town on 25th January. This is the series decider and both teams will try to dominate the other with an all-round performance; the win in the 2nd T20 was the first of the tour for the visitors and they will fight hard to keep the momentum going. With the 5-match ODI series to follow after this, South Africa will like to gear up and make a comeback on Wednesday.
It was a dismal show by the batsmen in the last game, with players like JJ Smuts, Theunis de Bruyn, Mosehle and David Miller getting out quickly while setting up a target against the Lankans. Heino Kuhn did well to score 29 off 20 while Behardien contributed with 27 runs but they were all-out for just 113 in the end. Young fast-bowler Lungi Ngidi demolished the opposition’s top-order as he took 4-19 while Parnell and ace spinner Imran Tahir came up with one scalp each. However, they couldn’t stop a determined Mathews from hitting the winning runs.
In the first match, David Miller and Behardien combined well to steady the innings and post an honorable 126; the well-balanced pace and spin attack then unleashed its power on the visitors to cause frequent dismissals and win the match by 19 runs. The return of AB de Villiers to the side can be game-changing for the Proteas.
They have good resources with bat and ball, which could come out all guns blazing in this series decider to conquer the Lankans again.
The young left-arm Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan made a stunning debut as he claimed 4-23 that in the second match. Fast-bowlers Isuru Udana and Kulasekara took 5 wickets between them to help restrict South Africa to a lowly 113. The chase saw opener Niroshan Dickwella scoring 22 off 15 but quick dismissals caused some nervous jitters for the team again.
It was Chandimal and Mathews who fought hard to get the runs on board; Mathews went on to post an unbeaten 54 despite suffering injury and led from the front to register the team’s first victory here. However, due to injury issues he along with speedster Nuwan Pradeep and all-rounder Danushka Gunathilaka, won’t be featuring in the upcoming match as well as the ODI series. Their absence could cause some damage to the team’s chances of winning here but they will surely strategize well with the available resources and go down with a fight.
The opening match saw bowlers like Prasanna, Lakmal and Kulasekara giving away easy runs but their performance improved in the last match; batting has been a concern but wicket-keeper batsman and stand-in captain Chandimal is expected to lead from the front to try and keep the winning momentum going.
Sri Lanka has suffered a setback with the exclusion of three experienced players but they could bring out some bowling tricks from up their sleeves to stun the Proteas. The hosts, on the other hand, have an in-form bowling attack that could make life difficult for the struggling Lankan batsmen. With an improved and better batting strength, we feel that South Africa are clear favourites to win the 3rd match and series