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HomeCricketSri Lanka v South Africa 1st ODI Preview

Sri Lanka v South Africa 1st ODI Preview



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 1st ODI Preview Cricket Blog CricBlog

Like the recent West Indies v Bangladesh Test series, the Sri Lanka v South Africa edition was one sided. In the West Indies, the ODI leg of the tour has proven to be much more competitive, and one hopes for the same in Sri Lanka.

If you had to list the semi-finalists of the World Cup right now, I believe both these two sides don’t get a mention. That is a concern for both sides, and a significant reason why this series is important; both teams have to start fine tuning their preparations for next year’s tournament.

Sri Lanka had a wretched 2017 in ODIs, winning five of 29 matches in the calendar year. This year, their only assignment has been a Tri-Series against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in January, which they won unconvincingly. So, getting a gauge of what to expect from the hosts in this series is a challenge. Also, with bans to Dinesh Chandimal and Danushka Gunathilaka, the players who will line up in the 1st ODI have a chance to impress.

It’s not all smooth sailing for South Africa, either. The retirement of AB de Villiers has put a huge dent into their World Cup chances, and their only ODI assignment this year was a 5-1 thrashing at home to India. What is concerning is that they were dominated by spin, namely Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, so they can be sure to expect another trial by spin in what’s been a very challenging tour so far.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

Spin has been the order of the day for Sri Lanka so far in this tour, and the same should continue.
There will be no Rangana Herath here but Sri Lanka will be sure to test South Africa through accurate, wily spin bowling that forms the basis of building pressure. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav only had to look at the South African batsmen and they would take a wicket earlier in the year. The template is set, can the likes of Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan follow suit?
Also, even with players missing, Sri Lanka’s likely top five possesses solid experience. Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis and skipper Angelo Mathews must provide a solid platform for the likes of Thisara Perera to launch. The onus is on the batsmen as much as the spinners to perform well for Sri Lanka.

Key to a South Africa win

Batting coach Dale Benkenstein is looking at this ODI series as a great chance to conquer spin. 
How will they go about it? Picking the ball out of the hand.
It’s easier said than done, though. In the recently completed tour match v Sri Lanka Board XI, South Africa’s top order, apart from Faf du Plessis, failed to get going. Some excellent middle order performances from David Miller, Reeza Hendricks and Willem Mulder got the Proteas out of trouble, but it’s trouble they don’t want to find themselves in during the 1st ODI. Much is needed from the likes of Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, who look out of touch at the moment.

Possible teams

Sri Lanka possible XI: 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 3 Upul Tharanga, 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt.), 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Akila Dananjaya, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lakshan Sandakan, 11 Kasun Rajitha

South Africa possible XI: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis (capt.), 4 Aiden Markram, 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Willem Mulder, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Andile Phehlukwayo, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

Stats and Facts

  • South Africa have won nine of the last 10 ODIs against Sri Lanka.
  • Hashim Amla averages 70.60 in ODIs in Sri Lanka, with two centuries. This is his best record in any country.
  • Thisara Perera had a good Tri-Series in January, hitting 134 runs at 44.66, with a SR of 154. Sri Lanka need him to show consistent form ahead of the World Cup.


At home, Sri Lanka look a good pick. However, they are far from the completed side so expect South Africa to at least be competitive.
Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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