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SA v SL, 4th ODI Preview: Wounded Sri Lanka looks to strike back

Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis of South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

In the context of the series, it would seem as though Sri Lanka is wounded and wounded quite badly as well. The loss of their skipper Angelo Mathews has been quite tough on the squad while his deputy Upul Tharanga has not been able to exhibit the leadership that is required to lead an inexperienced side.

However, despite this, there is optimism in the air from the coach Graham for at least that the win is certainly possible in the fourth ODI between the two to be played at the Newlands in Cape Town at the very least. As for South Africa, it is just a simple case of closing out yet another win at the Newlands in Cape Town.

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While there has indeed been some impressive cricket over the last few matches from the players in recent times, it would also seem clear that there is a reason to allow the squad to express themselves especially following the massive 3-0 win. Only the world rankings are something that would be on Russell Domingo’s mind as the encounter is set to being soon.

Prelude

The backdrop of the series in the grand scheme of things is that the Proteas will be looking for is the top spot in the ICC World Rankings. However, while this will be a rather tough ask when it comes to facing quality side in the form of Sri Lanka, it would also seem clear that the benched players would be looking to ply their trade off the benches at the very least. As for Sri Lanka, they will be playing for pride, something that would certainly be an important thing as well.

Dickwella’s Gambit

Niroshan Dickwella has been perhaps the only batsman who has been showing signs of some sort of form in recent times. However, while Dickwella has been quite decent with the bat in recent times, the fact is that he has not been aided by the other batsmen. This was evident in the previous ODI at the Wanderers wherein the Lankans simply capitulated to the bowling of South Africa. Dickwella will be aiming to get the support of his team to help him cement his place.

South Africa

The Proteas will be looking to give their bench strength. Therefore it is highly likely that Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi are roped in for this encounter in the grand scheme of things. However, the same core of the side is expected to be retained.

Sri Lanka

As far as changes go, it seems quite clear that a few would be enforced given the horrendous cricket the Islanders have been playing. At the moment, it is clear that only Lahiru Kumara and Niroshan Dickwella have their places in the side apart from the senior player in the form of Upul Tharanga.

Russel Arnold’s take on wicket-keepers playing this match

Toss: South Africa won the toss & elected to bat first

South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi

Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Sandun Weerakkody, Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga(c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lahiru Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Lakshan Sandakan

StAttack:

1. The last time Sri Lanka played at this venue, they defeated the West Indies by a meager margin of 6 runs. However, that was in the 2003 World Cup wherein they reached the semifinal. This also sees them having lost a game against the Proteas in January 2001.

2. This will not be good news for the Lankans as the Proteas have won 12 of their last 15 matches at the Newlands. They were unbeaten from 2004 to 2009, winning 10 matches on the spin before losing to India.

3. The team batting first has won on 25 occasions in ODIs at this venue. There have been 38 matches played here, meaning that the team batting first has won 65% of the time.

4. Quinton de Kock requires 5 catches to complete 100 ODI catches. He is only behind keepers Dave Richardson and Mark Boucher.

5. De Kock also requires 91 runs to complete 3000 ODI runs. He will become one of the fastest South African batsmen to reach this mark. Should he get his chance to play, Farhaan Behardien requires 52 runs to complete 1000 ODI runs.

6. Kagiso Rabada requires 3 wickets to complete 50 ODI wickets.

7. Among the Sri Lankan players, only Upul Tharanga and Dinesh Chandimal have scored centuries. The rest of the squad only boasts of half-centuries with Kusal Mendis having a 94.

8. The same is the case with their bowling wherein Suranga Lakmal is the only one with more than 50 wickets.

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