Home > News >

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 1st ODI Preview: Proteas face tough challenge against in-form Lankans

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (left) and South African counterpart AB de Villiers pose with the ODI trophy © AFP
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews (left) and South African counterpart AB de Villiers pose with the ODI trophy © AFP

By Sudatta Mukherjee

Jul 6, 2014

Returning victorious from England with wins in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs), one-off Twenty20 International (T20I) and the Test series, Sri Lanka will be high on confidence, especially playing at home when they take on South Africa. The Proteas will be under the leadership of AB de Villiers on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Sri Lanka are on a high after winning each and every series they have participated in till now this year. This includes Asia Cup 2014 and the ICC World Cup 2014 against India at Bangladesh. Leading the team from the front, ODI skipper Angelo Mathews has been their second highest run-scorer in 2014 till now, behind by experienced batsman Kumar Sangakkara. Mathews has scored 436 runs from 14 ODIs in 2014 at an average of 62.28, whereas, Sangakkara has scored 559 runs from 12 ODIs at an average of 46.58. The duo will be crucial against the much-feared South African bowling line-up, which consists of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.

Sri Lanka’s batting line-up has performed quite well under pressure in recent times. Opening the batting for them, Tillakaratne Dilshan has fared well in the shorter formats in the past, but the senior batsman is yet to fire up in 2014. Vice-captain Lahiru Thirmanne has progressed well and is one of the pillars in the batting line-up. He scored a match-winning 101 against Pakistan in Asia Cup 2014 final.

With Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Dilshan, Thiramanne, Sri Lanka don’t need to worry much about their batting, if they manage to stick together in the initial overs, with the new ball in Steyn and Philander’s hands. Sri Lanka’s bowling, led by Lasith Malinga [who was instrumental in the ICC World T20 2014 final for them], has proved to be lethal in recent times. Suranga Lakmal is all set to be Sri Lanka’s future spearhead. Nuwan Kulasekera has been the perfect foil at the beginning.

Spinners Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake have done well too. While Mendis’ bowling average in 2014 has been 17.00, Senanayake has been the second highest wicket-taker in this year for Sri Lanka with 19 wickets. Although Senanayake’s bowling action has come under the radar in recent times, Sri Lanka need not worry with Rangana Herath in their team as well. However, Herath has played only one ODI in 2014. Mathews, who has been a top all-rounder, is valuable with the ball and has the tendency of breaking well-settled partnerships.

A world-class team like South Africa don’t have much to panic about. However, seldom the side have failed to finish a game on top, faltering at the end of the match succumbing to the pressure of chasing or defending a total. With powerful batsmen like de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla and young guns like Quinton de Kock and David Miller, who have played vital roles in recent times, South Africa have a seemingly better batting line-up than Sri Lanka. However, the problem with them is that their batting often crumbles like a house of cards.

While du Plessis and Duminy have provided some influential performances lately, Miller and de Kock need to rise to the occasion and perform and grab the opportunity. De Kock had an average of 114.00 against India, while Miller had an average of 61.00. South Africa also have the best bowling line-up on paper, across formats. Steyn, Philander, Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren, Imran Tahir and co. are good enough to crush any batting line-up into submission. South Africa last played an ODI series against India in December 2013 and won the first and second ODIs by 141 runs and 134 runs respectively.

Sri Lanka won the five-match series 4-1 when South Africa had visited the Island Nation a year back. Playing at home, Sri Lanka will have the upper hand. The team will aim to continue their good form which they have managed to carry on in 2014.

However, South Africa will be looking forward to forget the past and start on a winning-note. In the end, it promises to be an interesting series, as it will show whether Sri Lanka are ready for bigger challenges ahead or if South Africa still need to do some revisions, keeping the ICC World Cup 2015 in mind.

Squads:

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Kushal Perera, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Upul Tharanga, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal.

South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), JP Duminy, Jacques Kallis, David Miller, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Ryan McLaren, Imran Tahir.

Time: 09:45 IST | 04:15 GMT

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Zimbabwe flatter as Bangladesh win by 124 runs

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1: Pakistan finish at 281/3 at stumps

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan South Africa South Africa vs Australia Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Sri Lanka set huge 318-run target versus England in 1st ODI at Colombo

India Women vs South Africa Women 2014: Proteas set a target of 187 for Indians

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI Dhaka, 2014: Bangladesh win by 124 runs to pocket series

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Mohammad Hafeez guides Pakistan to 281/3 at stumps on Day 1

Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq complete 100-run stand for fourth wicket

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here