From ICC Cricket : Sri Lanka will need to dig deep and overcome the absence of two key players to get the better of South Africa in the third and decisive Twenty20 International at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday (January 25).
After going down by 19 runs in the opener, Sri Lanka won the second T20I by three wickets on Sunday to leave the series tied 1-1. The win in Johannesburg was Sri Lanka’s first of the tour. South Africa had swept the preceding Test series 3-0.
Sri Lanka will be without Angelo Mathews, the skipper, and Nuwan Pradeep for the final T20I and the upcoming five-match One-Day International series. Danushka Gunathilaka too misses out due to a niggle in his back.
Dinesh Chandimal, who will lead the side in Mathews’ absence, is coming off an unsuccessful Test series and hasn’t done much with the bat in the T20Is either. Sri Lanka will hope for the senior wicketkeeper-batsman to fire as he takes charge from Mathews.
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It should worry Sri Lanka that it hasn’t been able to put up good scores despite coming up against an inexperienced South African bowling unit. Even in its win, chasing 114, Sri Lanka lost seven wickets before Mathews, twisted ankle and all, came up with an unbeaten 54 under pressure to see it through.
The T20I series will be followed by the five-match ODI showdown which will start on January 28 at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa: Farhaan Behardien (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heino Kuhn, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle (wk), Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt, wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thikshila de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana.
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