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HomeCricBlogSri Lanka vs South Africa 5th ODI Preview

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 5th ODI Preview

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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A bigger sigh of relief than when Joe Root saw he won the toss in the Lord’s Test v India…

… OK. Not quite.

But, Sri Lanka avoided their fourth 5-0 loss in ODIs since the beginning of 2017, and broke a ten-game losing streak against South Africa. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, the rain breaks in the 4th ODI looked to be the most competitive periods of play in the series, but SL’s batting clicked amid the rain. The lower order starred, propelling the Lankans to a total that was just a little too much for South Africa, despite the shortened chase. They played the game as if there was no such thing as a dead rubber, and they need to do the same today. Any confidence boost is like gold for a team struggling in ODIs like Sri Lanka are, and Angelo Mathews is certainly happy…

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For South Africa, like Sri Lanka, it is another chance to build towards World Cup plans. Of course, the pressure of this game compared to a World Cup game is miles apart, but winning for your country would be a very special feeling. Also, it is a chance for the back up bowlers to stake a claim again, after being carted around quite a bit in the 4th ODI, especially by Dasun Shanaka. With spots up for grabs, there is always lots to play for.

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Key to a Sri Lanka win

If the Sri Lanka top order were running a race, they wouldn’t get past the “start” line. Once again, their performance was characterised by double figure scores that didn’t provide any real significance, except for Kusal Perera. Then, the lower order, namely Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka, were absolutely superb in propelling Sri Lanka from the depths of 195/6 to the heights of 306/7.
Will the top order have to rely on the lower order to get them out of jail again? They would be silly to. It’s time someone in the top four goes on to make a significant contribution to the cause.
Also, Sri Lanka didn’t give up in the field, which was encouraging. With seven to defend off the last over, they looked gone, but Suranga Lakmal displayed the fight-to-the-end mentality his team displayed. The same is required in the 5th ODI.

Key to a South Africa win

I joked in my 4th ODI Preview that all the Proteas had to do was show up.
Now, even though the series is won, they face a good challenge. Can they take the series 4-1, by beating a side that is looking to continue to grow in confidence? 
In the 4th ODI, unlike the rest of the series, South Africa failed to ride home the advantage. This was with both bat and ball. When JP Duminy is your most economical bowler, the fact you got within three runs of victory is somewhat of a miracle. So, the other bowlers who are getting a run, namely Dala and Maharaj, need to bounce back well.

Possible teams

There are murmurs that Sri Lanka will bring in Kasun Rajitha in place of Lahiru Kumara.
Sri Lanka possible XI: 1. Upul Tharanga, 2. Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 3. Kusal Mendis, 4. Kusal Perera, 5. Angelo Mathews (c), 6. Dhananjaya de Silva, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Dasun Shanaka, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Suranga Lakmal, 11. Kasun Rajitha
South Africa will probably give the same side another chance. 
South Africa possible XI: 1. Quinton de Kock (c & wk), 2. Hashim Amla, 3. Reeza Hendricks, 4. Heinrich Klaasen, 5. JP Duminy, 6. David Miller, 7. Wiaan Mulder, 8. Andile Phuhlukwayo, 9. Keshav Maharaj, 10. Junior Dala, 11. Lungi Ngidi

Stats and Facts

  • Sri Lanka broke a ten-game losing streak v South Africa.
  • JP Duminy is the leading run scorer for the series (215), and his runs have come at a strike rate of nearly 140.
  • Thisara Perera has been a shining light for Sri Lanka in ODIs in 2018. He averages 44.83 with the bat at SR of 137, along with 18 wickets at 18.61 in nine matches.

Prediction

Like the last game, I’m hoping this one will be close. There is some rain forecast, but hopefully not too much to wash out the game.
Tough one to predict, but I will go with South Africa to bounce back and take the series 4-1, mainly because I can’t trust the Sri Lanka top order to go big. We shall wait and see.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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