Venue: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Date: Tuesday, 14th September
BetXChange Odds for 3rd T20 win:
- Sri Lanka – 1.35
- South Africa – 0.46
They will be looking to make it seven out of seven wins when they take on Sri Lanka in the third and final match on Tuesday where victory will see them achieve significant milestone of a sub-continent whitewash.
In what will be their last match before they travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman for the World Cup next month, the Proteas are favourites to beat deflated Sri Lanka who have strangely struggled to hit top gears at home.
With the series already won, it remains to be seen if South Africa’s think tank of Mark Boucher and stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj will be tempted to give opportunities to some of the players who have tasted action in the series.
For Sri Lanka, top on their agenda will be to avoid what would be an embarrassing home series whitewash and for that to happen their top order batters must rise to the occasion as they have failed to fire so far.
Focus will be on their batsmen to finally come good on familiar home conditions and salvage some pride as they have failed to impress on tracks they were expected to shine due to familiarity.
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka have at times batted like they were visitors as they struggled to negotiate the South African spinners of Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Bjorn Fortuin and part-times Aiden Makrkam who has been effective.
Through the two matches, Sri Lanka have not managed a single top-flight T20 innings between the lot of them with the most notable batting performance coming from Dinesh Chandimal’s 66 off 54 during the second match.
For the Proteas, it remains to be seen if they will hand opportunities to fringe players or they will stick with the core group considering that this is the last outing before they embark on official World Cup friendlies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman next month.
South African spinners Keshav Naharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Bjorn Fortuin and part-timeer Aidem Markram will be hoping for another good turning pitch to fine tune their skills because they are going to be confronted by similar conditions in the UAE and Oman.
Also key to South Africa’s mission of achieving a rare series whitewash on the sub-continent is going to be top order batters like Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen and Rassie van der Dussen.
Fast bowlers in the form of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Mortje, Wiaan Mulder and Andile Phehlukwayo have also found joy in patches through excellent strategies they have developed to cope with the slow pitches.
Tabraiz Shamsi needs one more wicket to reach 50 T20 wickets and if he reaches this milestone on his 42nd match on Tuesday, he will be the third-fastest South Africa bowler behind legendary Imran Tahir to do it.
Tahir reached the milestone in 31 matches, Roelof van der Merwe, who also played for Netherlands, did it in 40 and on the side of Sri Lanka it is worth noting that they have lost their last five matches against South Africa.
Their last win came in August 2018.