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)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

New playing conditions to be seen in Pakistan- Australia series

Sunil Narine will get over this tough phase positively, says West Indies coach Stuart Williams

West Indies have the ability to beat India: Richie Richardson

CLT20 2014 Semi-final 1: Hurricanes confident before KKR match,says Doug Bollinger

CLT20 2014: Inexperience against spin reason for Perth Scorchers’ exit, says Justin Langer

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

What this bitch is up to?

Director Siddharth Anand dares Bang Bang stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif!

Meru Cabs gets Uber’s best feature

Have acne? Drink wine to get rid of it

Alcatel OneTouch Fire C2G Firefox smartphone launched in India, priced at Rs 1,990

Diagnose with Alzheimer’s? What to do when the worst has happened

Aamir Khan completes Hrithik Roshan’s dare – is it lame or smart?

Asian Games 2014 Medal Table: China lead the Medal Tally with 130 gold, India 10th with 7 gold medals

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here