Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st ODI, Colombo

Sri Lanka hold edge against inexperienced South Africa

The Preview by Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo

July 19, 2013

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)

JP Duminy plays a shot during a practice session, Colombo, July 19, 2013
JP Duminy is one of only two players in the current South Africa squad to have some experience of playing in Sri Lankan conditions © AFP

Big picture

One of the more interesting statistical quirks that has been uncovered in the lead-up to the first match of the series is that only two members in South Africa's 15-man squad have played an ODI in Sri Lanka before. Robin Peterson played two matches, in 2002 and 2004 but did not bat in either game, while JP Duminy played the entire series in 2004. Neither man has been a part of a victory.

Though most of this squad will have played elsewhere in Asia, Sri Lanka's heat, humidity and pitch conditions are a different enough challenge for South Africa's inexperience to shape up as a major deficiency. More seasoned South African hands have come to Sri Lanka in the past, and had little to show for their time here, losing nine out of ten completed ODIs against the hosts.

On arrival this time, South Africa captain AB de Villiers suggested that perhaps the inexperience was an advantage, as the squad does not collectively bear the psychological burden of previous losses. Given that Sri Lanka, too, are a vastly changed side, he may have a point. Sri Lanka's middle order is now a liability, even in their own conditions, and the bowling attack lacks the penetration that has daunted touring sides in previous years.

The home side are also playing their first two matches under their youngest captain. Dinesh Chandimal has both the talent and intellect to become a fine leader in the future but he has not justified his place in the side over the last two months and is under added pressure to turn his form around. He is in charge of an attack that is without its most dependable seam bowler, as Nuwan Kulasekara has been ruled out of the first two games due to a finger injury.

There are tougher first assignments for a 23-year old captain, but Chandimal will need more than just his characteristic on-field effervescence if South Africa's explosive batting order begins to fire. He does have the experience of the three senior batsmen to fall back on though, and their presence and good form gives Sri Lanka the edge in the first encounter.

Form guide

(most recent first, last five completed matches)
Sri Lanka: LLWWL
South Africa: LTWLW

Players to watch

Aaron Phangiso had a decent outing in the warm-up match, taking two wickets for 39, but, after two mediocre showings, he will be eager to prove he can cut it at the top level and kick-off his international career. The tawny-coloured pitch should be more helpful than the ones he is used to at home and, as South Africa's most naturally attacking spinner, he might do well to quell the nerves early and focus on good flight. Sri Lanka's top six may feature three left-handers, which will make the left-arm spinner's job more difficult.

Shaminda Eranga will want to forget the last over that he bowled in international cricket. Faced with defending 15 runs off the last five balls of the innings, Eranga was flattened by MS Dhoni's phenomenal finishing. The selectors have indicated he is a talent they would like to develop in both ODIs and Tests and, in Kulasekara's absence, Eranga would do well to introduce the consistency that has been missing from his bowling so far.

Pitch and conditions

Despite cloudy skies for much of the week and an unseasonal deluge two days before the match, the ground staff at the R Premadasa have prepared a surface likely to assist spin, with some likely assistance for the new ball bowlers as well. Showers are forecast for late in the evening, but there is a good chance that there will be enough time to get a result, at the very least.

Team news

Tillakaratne Dilshan is said to have fully recovered from the calf tear that prevented him from traveling to the West Indies, while a niggle that Lahiru Thirimanne picked up in the Carribean appears to have healed as well. Upul Tharanga will likely open alongside Dilshan, after his 174 not out against India in that tournament, while Angelo Perera may be in line for a debut. Ajantha Mendis' selection depends on whether Sri Lanka decide they need a second frontline spinner.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Angelo Perera/Thisara Perera, 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Shaminda Eranga, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Suranga Lakmal/ Ajantha Mendis.

South Africa continue to wait on Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe, both of whom have a 50% chance of playing, according to AB de Villiers. Morkel felt tightness in his thigh, where he suffered his most recent injury, while Tsotsobe's problematic ankle has flared up again. De Villiers said South Africa would look to play two frontline spinners whenever possible in this series, but they could end up fielding a an inexperienced pace attack on Saturday.

South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 JP Duminy, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Faf du Plessis, 6 David Miller, 7 Ryan Mclaren, 8 Robin Peterson, 9 Aaron Phangiso, 10 Chris Morris, 11 Rory Kleinveldt/ Morne Morkel.


There are three guys who have captained the country before. I can get a lot of input from the three of them. We have done training well and hopefully in the first two games we will be able to get a good start and move on.
Dinesh Chandimal on having the seniors around in his first match as ODI captain

We can't do any worse here than we have in the past so it's a good opportunity for us to make an improvement and make people proud at home.
AB de Villiers on South Africa's record in Sri Lanka

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ankitsuperking on (July 20, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

SA have a good record in India, so there is no reason why they should struggle in SL. Both team have a good blend of young and experience player in their team... Thisara Parera is a very good cricketer and should be utilised in better way as he can be really handy in powerplays.....

Posted by Aus2013 on (July 20, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Itz a pre meditated series..Test for SL against d spearhead SA pace attack...on d contrary real real test for d African's against d spin attack..I reckon that SA will be whitewashed by the SL in ths series...

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

chandimal was a run machine when sl was in australia in 2011 for the vb series. because he batted at 2nd down. he is not an slogger who come at no 6 or 7 and smack . only way he can suceed in international cricket being at the top. for a change for few matches sl must shuffle the bat order. thirmane become like misba ul haq. he can score but takes too many balls to get started and doesnt learn the art of rotate stike. mahela is best at the top the risky free shots which he plays guess some of the top order bat also stunned. feel sorry for tharanga. though his stats shows good. he wont get continue match. if 3 to 4 failure he will be out. again they bring mahela at the top. dilshan is the one who will never let his place from top. or else rest of players must wait till he get retired. quite simple he earned his top order place. when he started he was like no 6 or 7. thirmane can bat lower if they really want him in the team. he must learn hard hitting than normal blocking the ball.

Posted by kevepere on (July 20, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

No matter what the result is SL have been pathetic playing against India. They cannot erase or forget what India has done to lankans in the past 5 years. Lanka's strength and mystery have been the weak link and the non mystery for the Indians. Anyone can see clearly what happens to Malinga when playing againts india. There is no more mystery with ajantha mendis. I hope SA give a big fight to the over protective young players of SL who highly relies on the big three.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Love to see close encounters and thrilling finishes between two good one day sides. All the best to both the teams

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Where is Kusal Perera ? so, he is not good enough after a few failures ? come on Sanath, are u scared that he would outperform u ?

Posted by C0l0mb0 on (July 20, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

i Doubt A perera will get a chance, just coz of the politics plays ahead of talent in SL Team selections. Chandimal should either open the inning or play #3. If Sanga not giving #3 to him or Dilshan not giving #2 to him he should just select the team without him. Same with thirimanne. He need to be an allrounder or stay on the bench. but he will play just coz of VC. My opinion is Sanga, Dili n Mahela should bat down the order giving young guys some opportunity n more balls to face n build some confident. If those 3 bat top all those youngsters getting is jast a free ride to next match. Best team is, 1. Tharanga 2. Chandimal 3. Thirimanne 4. Sanga 5. Mahela 6. Dilshan 7. A Perera 8. Thisara 9. Senanayake/herath (depend on SA batting line up) 10. Malinga 11. Lakmal

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

good luck! SL hope u win the series comfortably will b waiting for u

Posted by unlocker on (July 20, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Don't why Sa lost some country continue , they have ability to win every match ,sl is lucky they win under passure ! Ok today I am going to invest my money for Sa .hope they will play good cricket

Posted by Dr.Lakson on (July 20, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

Chandimal and the readers do not have to be repeatedly told that Chandimal needs to improve his contributions towards the team. Please give him time and space without putting undue pressure. We are no India or Australia oozing with talented players. I would like to see a statistical analysis of the SL players who are now considered as good/great players (Aravinda, Arjuna, Attapattu, Gurusinghe, Mahanama, Jayasuriya.......), how they fared at the early stages of their career........ SL needs a different approach in selections!.........

Posted by gibbs.175 on (July 20, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

@shazy777 ,you are 100 % right ......must call for D.KOCK ,IF Rory is called ....he will be most expensive bowler of the side...and SA could loose the every chance....good luck SA

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

I saw Rex Clemantine saying he backs Chandimal to break most of Sanga's batting records. Does Rex know what these records are ? Fastest make many 8000, 9000, 10000 runs in test cricket and the guy with the highest average as of today in the over 9,000 runs ever, He has 3rd most highest double hundreds in test carrier etc. I feel Thiriamanne and Dimuth are better contenders though is it is a difficult act to follow. Unless Dinesh changes his attitude, he may be goig in the path Mahela has gone and not Sanga's which also is mammoth.

Posted by S-L-2-0-1-2 on (July 19, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

In the absense of Kula, Eranga will come in ( or else Lakmal), so Malinga and Eranga are definite starters. So is Sanga, MJ, Dilli, Tharanga, Chandi, and Thiri. Now for the spinners: Sachi, Herath. Now for the allrounders, we have Angelo P, and Thisara Perera. The selection of the allrounder will depend on the conditions, and how many spinners we play. If we play 1 genuine spinner, Angie P should come in. Otherwise, If we play 2 spinners, a back up seamer (ie. Thisara) should come in. Excited to see Angelo debut as he is an exciting all round cricketer. Good Luck Chandi!

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

chandi should bat before mahela..but due to mahela`s greediness to bat at the top he`ll bat at no 3 , 4 or open and ask youngsters to bat no 6,7 and destroy their careers..just like we did to Kapugedara..If Kusal is playing he too should bat before mahela..

Posted by Shazy777 on (July 19, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

Good luck S.A... My team.... Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock AB de Villiers JP Duminy Faf du Plessis David Miller Ryan Mclaren Robin Peterson Chris Morris Morne Morkel Aaron Phangiso

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

its hard like iron beans to chew to defeat SA guys don't u ll see tomorw amla devilliers rocks

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

you guys are dump look the side of SA men's amla a mountain devilliers hill n duminy a big wild to take over them hard for anyone if amla stay then forget the srilanka dream only to win

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:21 GMT)

test of SA future cricketers....................

Posted by SHER-A-PANJAB on (July 19, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

Good luck SA.....Show some fight there because in S.lanka is very hard to put or chase down for outsiders.... and give a chanceto D.Kock/.........

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

@ WildRajj : 100% agree with you mate....Sri Lanka must go for young blood now..

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

my team; Dilshan,Tharanga,Sanga,Mahela,Chandimal,Thirimane,Thisara,herath,Malinga,Mendis,Eranga

Posted by welovepakistan on (July 19, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

Good luck srilanka! sanga will shine....!

Posted by attanayake1 on (July 19, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

good luck sri lanka............ want to see some new talents coming up at least in this series ...................

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

I guess tomorrow side should be(according to batting order) 1 Tharanga 2 Dilshan 3 Kumar 4 Mahela 5 Dinesh 6 Thirimanna 7 Thisara/Angelo 8 Rangana 9 Lasith 10 Shaminda 11 Suranga/Ajantha

7 and 11 Depends on Pitch and tomorrow atmosphere

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

I am not sure about side tomorrow..coz there is possibility something drama happens as usual with the political and upper hand influence as always..Specially under a youngest captain.Anyway chandimal is good one but he needs brush is dust and become a best out of best to be great one.I feel like its long way but he is capable of doing it.I strongly belive we should try Angelo P in case we need to find another Batting alrounder for the side in near by.It seems Dilshan,Mahela and Sangakkara too old for long run and they need rest for their bodies.If you get last one year.They have being injured many occasions and can see not fit enough to battle with fast moving bowl in the field.Sangakkara is world class Keeper batsman but two young Keepers needs to groom as wel;,for me,its Kusal and chandimal. I have no idea whats the role mubarak going to play.As he is the BIGGEST Failure of the world in Last decade. Anyway without mubarak ,Squad looking good.

Posted by tdslbuwa on (July 19, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Upul, Dili ,Chandi , Sanga , Mahela , Thiri , Angelo P , Thisara , Sachi , Ranga , Mali... Although Thirimanne is not the greatest middle over batsmen I've selected him because he is vice captain..Dili , Angelo P and Thiri will bowl 10 overs among them...We need 2 spinners minimum with this young SA side...So go with Sachi and Herath....When Mathewes comes in one of Angelo P and Thisara wii have to make way..

Posted by yorkslanka on (July 19, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

@bunny- I would be amazed if we whitewash SA. Winning the series will be a tough ask..

Posted by WildRajj on (July 19, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

It's sad that SL is not attempting to develop new batsmen on their own home turf. 3 of the top 6 are over 35 and the other 3 are average inconsistent performers. More or less the same can be said about the bowlers. Chandimal is the only really dynamic young player in the team and even he's inconsistent. SL should learn from India who slowly sidelined their tired old performers to develop successful teams that won the World Cup and Champions Trophy.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (July 19, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Sri Lanka will be too strong. South Africa may be a feared team in Test Cricket but average in the shorter forms.

Posted by Otuwa on (July 19, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

[1]Tharanga[2]Dilshan[3]Sanga[4]Chandi[5]Mahela[6]Angelo Perera[7]Thisara Perera[8]Herath[9]Sachithra[10]Shaminda[11]Malinga

Posted by miles100 on (July 19, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

SL always had talented sides. However SL has not done anything about strengthening the middle order since the 1996 and SL has never used the right strategy in the local arena to improve the fast bowlers since the first test in 82 .To play in the middle order(No:5 & 6)successfully,not only one has to accumulate runs by working the ball around for1s & 2s, but also the same batsman has to be an executor of big hits at the end with strength & technique. We don't see middle order players like Arjuna, Dhoni, Aravinda, Mihandard, Mike Hussy, Ross Taylor,Collingwood, Andy Flower in the SL side. Mathews is somewhat closer but he has to do more work to be one of those middle order greats. Also why hasn't SL never found a140KMPH fast bowler with the same level of intelligence & variation of Vaas, Kulasekera & Mathews? They are the most intelligent fast bowlers that SL had recently however they all lacked pace though Vaas has been world class.Eranga lacks variation & braveness.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Lets Bring us a Great Game.. Its Going to be a Full House @ Premadasa!!

Posted by LIONS_ROARR on (July 19, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Going to be fun to watch SA being whitewashed by SL ONCE AGAIN!

Posted by Slesh on (July 19, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

1.Tharanga 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Thirimanne 6.Chandi 7.Mubarak 8.Thisara 9.Herath 10.Malinga 11.Eranga

Posted by Shazy777 on (July 19, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Colin Ingram & Alviro Petersen both are flop...!!! Plx give chance to Quinton De Kock... Its a time to groom youngster...

Posted by sshailesh on (July 19, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

faf Should open the inning or at 3

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

sri lanka got home advantage

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

Where is Colin Ingram?..WAT a selection..remove alviro petersen and put Ingram In ..?S.A Selectors plz...

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