South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Preview: Visitors aim to stay afloat after defeat in series opener

Sri Lanka were brimming with confidence before the first ODI against South Africa at Port Elizabeth after winning the three-match T20I series 2-1.

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Preview: Visitors aim to stay afloat after defeat in series opener
Updated: January 31, 2017 5:18 PM IST | Edited By: Ayush Gupta

Sri Lanka were brimming with confidence before the first One-Day International (ODI) against South Africa at Port Elizabeth after winning the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series 2-1. However, AB de Villiers-led side left them utterly deflated after handing a crushing 8-wicket defeat. Imran Tahir, who according to his captain does not do anything wrong these days, took 3 for 26 from his 10 overs. Wayne Parnell, too, was among wickets with his spell of 3 for 48. Together the two dismantled Sri Lanka s batting for a modest 181, which was chased down with ease by South African top-order. For his exceptional bowling, Tahir was adjudged Ma of the Match. Full Cricket Scorecard: South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI at Durban

"Immi [Tahir] is probably in the best kind of form that I've ever seen. He doesn't bowl bad balls anymore. He always used to take wickets, but now you don't see bad balls, which make him really difficult to play," de Villiers said after the match. Going into the 2nd ODI, which will be played at Durban on Wednesday, he will expect a similar performance from his star spinner, who became the 8th highest wicket-taking bowler for South Africa during the first game. In fact, there is little to worry for de Villiers side, which looked well-oiled machinery with all their bases covered. The only thing de Villiers would hope is his side does not get complacent after the first win, for Sri Lanka have made comebacks from similar situations.

In the T20I series, Sri Lanka were trailing 0-1 in a three-match series, heading towards another series defeat. However, they won the second T20I thanks to their inspirational skipper Angelo Mathews, who despite braving an injury, got them across the finishing line. Sri Lanka then went on to win the final game and series, thus scripting a brilliant comeback. South Africa, thus, need to be wary of the Sri Lankans, who can stage a similar fight-back in the ODIs. It won t be easy though, with the Proteas playing their full-strength squad. Sri Lanka realise this, but they are more worried about their own performance than the opposition s strength. Amla, du Plessis' fifties help SA crush SL by 8 wickets in 1st ODI

We have lots of areas to improve on the batting and bowling fronts. We have a couple of days to sit together as a team and have a chat about what we can improve. Like I said, both batting and bowling, lots of areas to improve, their stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga had said after the defeat in the first ODI, clearly indicating the tourists are more concerned about turning things around with their improved performance than worrying about the opponents.

The problem areas are aplenty for them, with the openers and the lower-order failing to fire in the first game. They would want Niroshan Dickwella their star during the T20Is and Sandun Weerakkody the debutant in the first game to get them to a solid start in the second game. Also, the tourists will hope their skipper Tharanga to get back to scoring ways besides getting good contribution from Dinesh Chandimal, one of their most experienced batsmen. Sri Lanka will also aim their bowlers get into the wicket-taking groove. Though they lost the series opener, there are not many changes on the cards, as the tourists will perhaps give this young side another chance. SA coach Domingo likely to be removed at end of tenure in August

There are rains and dark clouds expected in Durban for most part of the week. However, the forecast for the match day on Wednesday is good, with no rains.

In their 25-year-old history, these two teams have met just once at Durban. That match, interestingly, was full of drama and ended in a tie. It was played in 2003 during the ICC Cricket World Cup. South Africa agonisingly came close to a win and entered the knockouts, but miscalculation on their part saw the match end in a tie and their subsequent ouster from the tournament. Sri Lanka progressed in the tournament and eventually were defeated in the semi-final.

They had managed to stay afloat in the tournament after that Durban game in 2003. Cut to present, they would look to seek inspiration from that game and keep the series alive with a win at the same venue on Wednesday.


South Africa: AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi (Ruled out), Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Chaturanga de Silva, , Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Sachith Pathirana, , Lakshan Sandakan, Sandun Weerakkody, Lahiru Kumara, Vikum Sanjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay.

TIME: 13:30 local | 11:30 GMT | 17:00 IST