Sri Lanka won its first trophy on its fifth visit to South Africa when it sealed a 2-1 Twenty20 International series win with a five-wicket triumph in the final game at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday, and Niroshan Dickwella, who was named Man of the Series, said in the lead up to the first ODI that “the whole team is backing up our strengths now”.
As was the case in the final T20I, Sri Lanka will be without Angelo Mathews, its captain, as well as Nuwan Pradeep, the fast bowler who has a hand injury, and Danushka Gunathilaka, who is down with a back problem. Upul Tharanga, who led Sri Lanka to victory in the ODI tri-series featuring Zimbabwe and West Indies in Zimbabwe in November last year, will lead the side in Mathews’s absence.
The trend of good batting pitches is likely to continue in the 50-over games, but the quality of the South African opposition is markedly better.
the competition for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 places for the all-rounders is likely to intensify with Chris Morris back after a six-month injury layoff, while Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius are all in the mix too.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Chaturanga de Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thikshila de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Isuru Udana, Sandun Weerakkody.