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HomeCricBlogSri Lanka vs South Africa T20I Preview

Sri Lanka vs South Africa T20I Preview



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Sri Lanka vs South Africa Only T20I Preview Cricket Blog CricBlog Cricket Preview
Image credit: Associated Press

Pretty serious Test series. Pretty serious ODI series. Both pretty one-sided.

The final leg of South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka is a one-off T20I, that will arguably be taken the least seriously of all the formats, but one can hope it’s the most competitive. If you were looking for a competitive Test series, Sri Lanka wasn’t the place to look, and so too the ODIs, where four of the five matches were quite one-sided.

So, what can we expect in the one-off T20I?

Sri Lanka would be feeling a little better about themselves after winning the final two ODIs. Angelo Mathews praised his side, particularly Akila Dananjaya, who is certainly a linchpin to Sri Lanka’s chances in this clash, after his 6/29 in the final ODI. Can Sri Lanka’s batting, which made for miserable viewing in the first three ODIs, also put South Africa under pressure? The expected full crowd at Khettarama will certainly be hoping so.

For South Africa, their challenging tour ends here. A T20I that doesn’t bear too much significance is almost a stress-free way to sign off, but the chance to win a game for your country, and silence a large crowd, should certainly be cause for motivation. Without Chris Morris and Imran Tahir, two of South Africa’s best T20 performers, can the Proteas find inspiration elsewhere to end the tour on a high?

Key to a Sri Lanka win

It is no surprise that when Sri Lanka’s batting clicked in the ODI series, they won. Whilst this is encouraging, it would have been quite a disappointing feeling in Sri Lanka as to why it took for the series to be over for them to fire. With a winner-takes-all match here, can the batting fire again?
They’ll need to. Sri Lanka possess dangerous players right throughout their line up, with Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanuka likely to take the number six and seven positions. Can the top order make a sufficient enough start that you could send the likes of Thisara Perera up the order earlier to cause further headaches for South Africa?
Also, while the Proteas won the ODI series, their issues against spin have not magically disappeared. A key avenue to victory for Sri Lanka would be to choke South Africa’s batsmen with spin, building pressure through dots, which are gold in this format.

Key to a South Africa win

The sooner South Africa forget about the final ODI, the better. There was very little interest in challenging themselves against the quality spin bowling of Akila Danajaya.
Here, rotation of the strike is key. The home side will look to put the squeeze on the South Africans, so the Proteas have to respond with quality placement and running between the wickets. Making full use of your boundaries is vital – there is little point in hitting a four, then following it up with three dots. Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy are in good form for the Proteas, and a lot rests on them.
Also, with Chris Morris and Imran Tahir missing, who will step up with the ball? There were some expensive performances with the ball in the final couple of ODIs, so whether South Africa can have a fruitful powerplay to set Sri Lanka back will be key.

Possible teams

Dinesh Chandimal is available for Sri Lanka, but does he possess the power Sri Lanka need at the top?
Sri Lanka possible XI: 1. Kusal Mendis, 2. Kusal Perera (wk), 3. Upul Tharanga, 4. Dinesh Chandimal/Dhananjaya de Silva, 5. Angelo Mathews (c), 6. Thisara Perera, 7. Dasun Shanaka, 8. Isuru Udana, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Lakshan Sandakan, 11. Kasun Rajitha
For South Africa, they’ll likely rest some players, including Hashim Amla and Kagiso Rabada. Will Aiden Markram get a start, and end a terrible tour on a high?
South Africa possible XI: 1. Quinton de Kock (wk), 2. Aiden Markram/Hashim Amla, 3. Reeza Hendricks, 4. Heinrich Klaasen, 5. JP Duminy (c), 6. David Miller, 7. Wiaan Mulder, 8. Andile Phehlukwayo, 9. Junior Dala/Keshav Maharaj, 10. Lungi Ngidi, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi

Stats and Facts

  • Sri Lanka’s last T20I assignment was the Nidahas Trophy at home, where they disappointed against India and Bangladesh.
  • South Africa have won three of four T20Is against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.


I get the feeling this game would mean more to Sri Lanka, with the motivation to do well in front of their fans. 
With the improved performances in the ODIs, I will back Sri Lanka to continue the momentum and take this one out.
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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