We preview the second ODI between the Proteas and Sri Lanka, taking place in Pallekele on Wednesday 9 July from 11am SA time.
AB de Villiers’ men recorded an unexpectedly comprehensive win the first match of the series. The batsmen posted 304-5, before the bowlers dismissed Sri Lanka for 229 in the 41st over to seal a 75-run victory.
The second ODI presents the first of two opportunities for the Proteas to rewrite the history books. A victory would see them become the first South African team to win an ODI series in Sri Lanka. Coach Russell Domingo is expected to stick to a winning combination and retain the same XI for this clash. He will hope for an even more polished performance now that his players have had a run after a long break (their last ODI prior to this tour was in December 2013).
Sri Lanka will be hurt by the result of the first ODI and will be determined to keep their impressive record against the tourists intact. The islanders play consistent cricket in local conditions and will not underestimate their opponents in Pallekele. Angelo Mathews learned some valuable lessons in the series opener and will be confident in his side’s ability to bounce back.
If South Africa do manage to complete a series win it will not only be a major achievement, but a significant step in their journey towards the 2015 World Cup.
Arguably the two finest batsmen on the planet are going head-to-head and they both showed what he is capable of in the first ODI. AB de Villiers‘ 75 off 70 balls helped set up South Africa’s imposing total. For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara is the key. The veteran’s 88 off 84 balls in the series opener showed his destructive ability. The winner of this duel could determine the result of the entire contest.
OUR PREDICTION: Sri Lanka should take this one, given their knowledge of familiar conditions and their desperation to stay alive in the series.
South Africa – AB de Villiers (c), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn.
Sri Lanka – Angelo Mathews (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Upul Tharanga, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal.
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