Venue: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo,
Date: Tuesday, 7th September
BetXChange Odds for 3rd ODI win:
- Sri Lanka – 1.30
- South Africa – 0.65
South Africa returned back to form on Saturday with a 67 runs (D/L method) win over Sri Lanka to level the series 1-1 and making the final match on Tuesday an eagerly anticipated decider.
The Proteas, who lost the first match, will be under pressure to wrap up this series as a win will see them claim ten more ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points and enhance their chances of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup.
Coach Mark Boucher will once again look at the likes Janneman Malan, who scored his third ODI century on Saturday, Aiden Makram, Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen at the top of the order for the much needed runs.
With ball in hand, Boucher will once again expect big things from last weekend’s best Tabraiz Shamsi, who ended the match with career best 5/4, and he will be ably assisted by Kagiso Rabada, George Linde, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo and Anrich Nortje is he is recalled to the starting line-up.
For Sri Lanka and their captain Dasun Shanaka, it is back to the drawing board as they will be looking to bounce back and avoid losing the series at home and drop 20 crucial ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points.
During the last rain affected match, Sri Lanka attacked South Africa with four frontline spinners in the form of Hasaranga, Praveen Jayawickrama, Akila Dananjaya, Dhananjaya de Silva but the move did not yield the expected results as they returned with two wickets between the in 32 overs.
It was only Hasaranga de Silva and Dhananjaya who claimed one apiece as they were outdone by the fast bowling duo of Dushmantha Chameera and Chamika Karunaratne who returned with two scalps each.
There is a lot riding on this match and Sri Lanka cannot afford to lose this series, especially at home considering that they have lost to the West Indies, Bangladesh, England and India and success on Tuesday will be a significant step to re-discovering consistency.
Sri Lanka started the series well with a win but they imploded in the second match to allow South Africa back in the reckoning largely due to top-order failure which succumbed to excellent new ball bowling by Kagiso Radaba abd Wiaan Mulder.
They somehow came back in the game in the middle overs but South African spinner Tabraiz Shamsi found his rhythm in the back end of the innings to demolish their lower order and the tail to end the match with a fifer.
The home side will be concerned with the performance of Akila Dananjaya, who has been expensive in both matches and has only taken two wickets.
Just like Sri Lanka, South Africa are on a lean patch of results as they have not won an ODI series in the last 18 months since they produced a stunning display to whitewash bitter rivals Australia at home in March last year.
During this time of underachievement, South Africa have lost to England and drawn with Ireland and they will be looking to return back to winning ways on Tuesday and significantly improve their chances of qualifying for the World Cup.
South Africa batted well during this tour with the top five having contributed significantly to allow space to accommodate more bowling options lower down like Keshav Maharaj, who is now operating as stand-in captain in the absence of injured Temba Bavuma.
The condition of the pitch is going to be key and like in the previous two matches, there will be assistance for slower bowlers but run-scoring should be plentiful. There are morning showers predicted but the rain should subside by the afternoon and this situation makes this match to be delicately poised.