Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st ODI, Colombo July 5, 2014

No stroll for favourites Sri Lanka

42

Match facts

Sunday, July 6, 2014
Start time 0945 local (0415 GMT)

Big Picture

When South Africa were in Sri Lanka for ODIs last year, the visitors barely took breaths between comments about the heat. That is a little like going to Moscow and complaining people mostly spoke Russian. Maybe the men at SLC took note and chose to provide their team optimal advantage. Perhaps they are just sadists (which some Sri Lanka fans would not find surprising). Whatever the reason, the two ODIs played in the hottest climes, in Colombo and Hambantota, are both day matches. July is not the warmest or most humid month in the Sri Lankan calendar. But it's no Highveld either.

Then there are the pitches. If SLC were indeed taking notes from 2013's South Africa sojourn, or just following the sport in general (which some Sri Lanka fans would find surprising), they will know of the tourists' aversion to spin. The Premadasa Stadium surface can assist seam at times, but it also has a dustbowl mode. Angelo Mathews might be slightly miffed if he arrives there on Sunday morning to find the pitch would not suit a second frontline slow bowler.

But South Africa are too good a team to stumble into the same pits that swallowed them during the 4-1 drubbing last year. They have arrived with good time, and clinically trounced a Board XI side featuring five players from last year's Sri Lanka squad. They will also have studied Ajantha Mendis with renewed vigour and run microscopes over Sachithra Senanayake as well. Most men in their squad have toured the island before, and if Jacques Kallis is fit, South Africa will also be at full strength, which they were not in 2013. Sri Lanka still begin as favourites, but they will not expect to stroll past the visitors so easily this time.

The hosts, though, are not just humming, they are surging. A sweep of the trophies in England has the team in predictably high spirits. Angelo Mathews said on that tour that his side is "like a family", and when Mahela Jayawardene leaps on Kumar Sangakkara's back or when Mathews and Rangana Herath place their arms tenderly around each other's waists while mulling field placements, it is not difficult to imagine they are close. This year they have defeated sides that outgunned them on paper, by dint of preparation and fighting spirit. Now they are at home, complacency appears the chief obstacle.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka: WWLWL
South Africa: WWWLL

In the spotlight

The vice-captaincy seems a poisoned chalice for young Sri Lanka players. Dinesh Chandimal went through a staggeringly lean patch when burdened with it in ODIs, and now Lahiru Thirimanne may be struggling under its weight. It is an odd change of fortunes for Thirimanne, who had been instrumental to Sri Lanka's Asia Cup triumph in March, and had contributed to the World T20 campaign as well. He will hope a team without nemesis James Anderson will be an easier challenge, but in Dale Steyn, South Africa have a bowler who can do almost everything Anderson does, only faster. Thirimanne will hope to recover self-belief before the teams move to the Tests.

Imran Tahir is on his first top-level tour of Sri Lanka, and already the onus is on him to provide the bowling spark South Africa so desperately lacked in the 2013 series. Tahir has whirled his way to an average of 14.81 in nine matches elsewhere on the continent, but Sri Lanka pitches often reward different lengths and speeds than are generally useful in nearby nation. As a wrist spinner Tahir may pose a different slow-bowling challenge from those Sri Lanka see off with little fuss from most touring teams.

Team news

Kusal Perera was out of the domestic T20 tournament with a knee injury, but news from the Sri Lanka camp suggests he will be available for the first ODI. Sri Lanka have three spinners in the squad, and if the Premadasa pitch looks like it will take turn, Rangana Herath is most likely to miss out, thanks chiefly to his importance to Sri Lanka in the Tests, and his temperamental knee injury.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Lasith Malinga

An upper back injury has put Jacques Kallis in doubt, with the allrounder having already missed the warm-up match. Elsewhere, South Africa appear in good health.

South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Jacques Kallis/ Ryan McLaren, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Faf du Plessis, 7 David Miller, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

Pitch and conditions

There is a chance of rain in the morning, which may help freshen up the surface and also lower the temperature during the day, if the cloud hangs around.

Stats and trivia

  • South Africa last played an ODI in December last year - against India, at home
  • South Africa have never won an ODI series in Sri Lanka. They have completed 15 ODIs in the country and lost all but two
  • Kumar Sangakkara is the leading ODI scorer for 2014 with 559 runs at 46.58. He has gone past the four-figure threshold thrice in the past three years

    Quotes

    "You can't be complacent because they play their best cricket wherever they play, and they have got all their guns back. So we expect a really good challenge from the South Africans."
    Angelo Mathews

    "If you can win a series in Sri Lanka, mentally that puts you in a good position going into a tournament like the World Cup. There's every chance you could end playing Sri Lanka in a competition like the World Cup, in a big quarter-final."
    South Africa coach Russell Domingo is looking to prepare for the World Cup, even in Sri Lanka

    Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SLCricketFan-72 on July 6, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    @Dark Man X : Keep Kusal forever & let the others carry the burden! We obviously saw more than enough of that IMPACT he made to the team by contributing just 409 runs from 23 ODIs without Bangladesh with a tailender's Average of 19.4... failing to last THREE OVERS>>> :)) As you say, this will certainly set the tone for the rest of the players :)) According to you, steadying the inning is number 3's job... then why do we need SPECIALIST OPENERS? Even any tailender slogger could do the same thing! It seems you have no idea about cricket! There is a thing called New ball SEAM to deal with, in the initial session of a match. That is why OPENER's position required a SPECIALIST batsmen, who can stay longer and deal with it, at least for the first 15 overs! WITH 2 NEW BALLS, this is more important than ever as seen recently jn Eng! In places like Aus-NZ-Eng there is no escape! BY THE WAY THARANGA HAD MANAGED A STRIKE RATE OF 73.66 OVER 5000+ RUNS...SO DON`T TRY TO BLUFF WITH STATS pal.!

  • on July 6, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Stats wise SLs best operner is Tharanga. But he is not player who can make an impact like Kusal. on his day KJ will hit a quick 30 and set the tone for the rest of the players. UT will slowly build his innigs (after the other team giving him 5,6 lives) to score a slow 50/60 with a strike rate of 60. I would go for an aggressive operner any day! u hit out or get out. holding role is number 3s job. Thats where Lahiru will fit the bill only if he can cope with fast, swinging deliveries. Because when you have an aggressive operner, more often than not, the number 3 will be coming out to bat in the 1st 5 overs in lively pitches! pitty not to see the guy who sacrificed his title and dropped himself to help the team, getting dropped even after Scoring a 50 in d practice game. Way to go SLC.

  • on July 6, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Go lions....... No matter who we face, just play the normal game.... We are sure to come out with the cup...

  • on July 6, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    SA Vs SL. Spinners may make the difference. One Tahir Vs many; that's the equation. Great pace-men of SA lose some of their bite in these pitches; in fact on most of the sub-continental surfaces. So pace-men and batsmen are evenly matched. Advantage S.L.

  • on July 6, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    @LAKingsfan- You're right, This SA team is in full strength and form unlike England.. SL will find it very difficult to win against this SA side..

  • Prem2248 on July 6, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    Chandimal and other consistent promising youngsters being dropped, the 3 seniors to continue here can be considered as a disgrace to the Game of Cricket in the Country. The Cricket future of us is more important, than the future of sticky-footed 37 y olds. Khausal Silva should be brought to open batting in 50 overs as well, whose career was ruined as a youngster, because these solid controlled hitters can do blind-hitting better than fleet-footed batters that tends to start missing, edging & lofting from the very 1st ball as it has always been the case, since '96. Those days we were afford to loose the openers within the 1st 5 overs but today there is only one such solid batter in the middle in M'tews to take us to safety. If you try to defend with only one batter for an entire T'ment, a winning of that T'ment would be only a dream for us. Most fans believe the local selectors of late, lacks required knowledge to pick young players and the importance of playing them.

  • Prem2248 on July 6, 2014, 0:59 GMT

    What would be the position of Great Tendulkar, if he was born in SL,with this kind of poor selectors? Since he was a pure batter, he would be able to start his career only as a middle order batter at the age around 25 and end up with a unsuccessful careers as in the case with S'weera & Atapatu (forcing a promising player to wait too long, would tend him to loose self confidence ). If we want to be successful at the next WC, Khausal Silva should open batting with one of these youngsters like Kusal Janith, Nioshan Dickwella (The most consistent schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2012, a success in the Youth WC 2012, a leading run-getter in the last Domestic LO T'ment), KusalMendis, Sadeera Samarawickrema (The most consistent schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2013/14, successes in the Youth WC 2014),..followed by Chandimal,Mathews, Roshen Silva ( brilliant in the last LO T'ment of B'desh),AngeloPerera( most consistent solid batters with outstanding consistency, in Domestic Cricket)

  • on July 5, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    Making international standard player is not that easy. Tiri and Chandi shows they capable in this level many times also failed sometimes due to their lack of experiences. Mathew had similar situation but he bounced back. These two will bounce back sure. Thri settle down player but, out of form now. Chandi need to think about his shot selections. Good luck both teams. This SA team looks strong and they have proven match winners. SL have the same ability.

  • neo-galactico on July 5, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    I wish the Proteas luck on what should be a tough tour in alien conditions. That said, I'm not gonna lose sleep if SA lose the ODI series, it's not @ all important IMO. The Tests is where SA will have to really rally up and put a performance that's fitting of the stature.

  • on July 5, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    Is this match on UK TV?

  • SLCricketFan-72 on July 6, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    @Dark Man X : Keep Kusal forever & let the others carry the burden! We obviously saw more than enough of that IMPACT he made to the team by contributing just 409 runs from 23 ODIs without Bangladesh with a tailender's Average of 19.4... failing to last THREE OVERS>>> :)) As you say, this will certainly set the tone for the rest of the players :)) According to you, steadying the inning is number 3's job... then why do we need SPECIALIST OPENERS? Even any tailender slogger could do the same thing! It seems you have no idea about cricket! There is a thing called New ball SEAM to deal with, in the initial session of a match. That is why OPENER's position required a SPECIALIST batsmen, who can stay longer and deal with it, at least for the first 15 overs! WITH 2 NEW BALLS, this is more important than ever as seen recently jn Eng! In places like Aus-NZ-Eng there is no escape! BY THE WAY THARANGA HAD MANAGED A STRIKE RATE OF 73.66 OVER 5000+ RUNS...SO DON`T TRY TO BLUFF WITH STATS pal.!

  • on July 6, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Stats wise SLs best operner is Tharanga. But he is not player who can make an impact like Kusal. on his day KJ will hit a quick 30 and set the tone for the rest of the players. UT will slowly build his innigs (after the other team giving him 5,6 lives) to score a slow 50/60 with a strike rate of 60. I would go for an aggressive operner any day! u hit out or get out. holding role is number 3s job. Thats where Lahiru will fit the bill only if he can cope with fast, swinging deliveries. Because when you have an aggressive operner, more often than not, the number 3 will be coming out to bat in the 1st 5 overs in lively pitches! pitty not to see the guy who sacrificed his title and dropped himself to help the team, getting dropped even after Scoring a 50 in d practice game. Way to go SLC.

  • on July 6, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Go lions....... No matter who we face, just play the normal game.... We are sure to come out with the cup...

  • on July 6, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    SA Vs SL. Spinners may make the difference. One Tahir Vs many; that's the equation. Great pace-men of SA lose some of their bite in these pitches; in fact on most of the sub-continental surfaces. So pace-men and batsmen are evenly matched. Advantage S.L.

  • on July 6, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    @LAKingsfan- You're right, This SA team is in full strength and form unlike England.. SL will find it very difficult to win against this SA side..

  • Prem2248 on July 6, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    Chandimal and other consistent promising youngsters being dropped, the 3 seniors to continue here can be considered as a disgrace to the Game of Cricket in the Country. The Cricket future of us is more important, than the future of sticky-footed 37 y olds. Khausal Silva should be brought to open batting in 50 overs as well, whose career was ruined as a youngster, because these solid controlled hitters can do blind-hitting better than fleet-footed batters that tends to start missing, edging & lofting from the very 1st ball as it has always been the case, since '96. Those days we were afford to loose the openers within the 1st 5 overs but today there is only one such solid batter in the middle in M'tews to take us to safety. If you try to defend with only one batter for an entire T'ment, a winning of that T'ment would be only a dream for us. Most fans believe the local selectors of late, lacks required knowledge to pick young players and the importance of playing them.

  • Prem2248 on July 6, 2014, 0:59 GMT

    What would be the position of Great Tendulkar, if he was born in SL,with this kind of poor selectors? Since he was a pure batter, he would be able to start his career only as a middle order batter at the age around 25 and end up with a unsuccessful careers as in the case with S'weera & Atapatu (forcing a promising player to wait too long, would tend him to loose self confidence ). If we want to be successful at the next WC, Khausal Silva should open batting with one of these youngsters like Kusal Janith, Nioshan Dickwella (The most consistent schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2012, a success in the Youth WC 2012, a leading run-getter in the last Domestic LO T'ment), KusalMendis, Sadeera Samarawickrema (The most consistent schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2013/14, successes in the Youth WC 2014),..followed by Chandimal,Mathews, Roshen Silva ( brilliant in the last LO T'ment of B'desh),AngeloPerera( most consistent solid batters with outstanding consistency, in Domestic Cricket)

  • on July 5, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    Making international standard player is not that easy. Tiri and Chandi shows they capable in this level many times also failed sometimes due to their lack of experiences. Mathew had similar situation but he bounced back. These two will bounce back sure. Thri settle down player but, out of form now. Chandi need to think about his shot selections. Good luck both teams. This SA team looks strong and they have proven match winners. SL have the same ability.

  • neo-galactico on July 5, 2014, 22:23 GMT

    I wish the Proteas luck on what should be a tough tour in alien conditions. That said, I'm not gonna lose sleep if SA lose the ODI series, it's not @ all important IMO. The Tests is where SA will have to really rally up and put a performance that's fitting of the stature.

  • on July 5, 2014, 21:23 GMT

    Is this match on UK TV?

  • on July 5, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    Tharanga should be brought back and groomed to take over from Dilshan. Selectors should pursue with Chandumal,K Perera and Thirimanne Marvin Attapattu should be confirmed as SL's coach

  • VikumHerath on July 5, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    @Udendra: Sanath never became a burden to the team as Kusal. He started his career as a bowler & a lower-order batsmen. He had strokes to dispatch the ball to every corner of the ground under any condition & he scored heavily around the world, equally well! Being an outstation lad, he wouldn't have survived a day, if he had miserably failed like this guy Kusal. Don't be a joke trying to compare SJ's career stats with a Gratis Player, millions of light-years behind him..!

    He had been given 30 ODIs continuously during the past year & his career stats quantify the depth of burden he created for the side during that period! We had enough of Looks like Sanath "Manthra"... which was proved to be just a bloated hype..!

  • on July 5, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    srilanka needs some young talent..becoz chandimal,kusal perera,chandimal all r serioisly unlikely for.international cricket

  • on July 5, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Lasith Malinga

    very balance team.. congtrats

  • on July 5, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    kusal Perera is for the future for sure. like we had Sanath at top of the order. Kusal has lots of potencial as a opener. Lanka should play him in l the matches they play and as well as in test matches. Yes he should play test and gets some quick runs. Even if hes gets out in 40s 50s. still those are handy and he gets them quickly. likewise players like karunaratne or silva who spends hours in the crease and still and only made little. If lanka dont play Kusal. Then im sure its a big loss for them. becaz we gona miss such an entertainer.

  • SLCricketFan-72 on July 5, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    @Udendra : KJP failed just a few innings..??? What do you mean by this..?? 30 ODIs Ave 26 and 23 Odis without Bangla Av 19, Seven ODIs in Eng/Ire Ave 7.4 Is this a FEW TIMES ? wasting a whole year... constantly putting the burden on the team, especially on Sanga... costing some potential titles like ICC Champions Trophy 2013... Don't try to pump the "Avatar" hype balloon.! Can't believe this absurdity.

  • Udendra on July 5, 2014, 17:15 GMT

    @LuckySerasinghe: just chill out. Have you seen Sanath J in his early-career? Do you know what his final career average was? Amidst all that, he is seen as a legend for the impact he made. So just don't write-off a player like KJP just because he failed a few innings.

  • SLSup on July 5, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    Andrew says "This year they have defeated sides that outgunned them on paper". I didn't think so and posted as such before the ENG series. ON PAPER SL was the better outfit overall compared to ENG. The series in ENG was keenly contested with ENG doing an admirable job with new blood and somewhat spent forces looking to rebuild a team. Kudos for SL for staying with it to the end. It didn't feel like SL was waiting for things to happen but did what they could throughout to make things happen. Moral of the END/SL Series: Coaches dont' matter as much.

    SA is a different ball game : ) Let's just say SA is not ENG, home or away.

  • on July 5, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    It will be a really good series to watch....looking forward to it... both my Fav teams....Specially Lankans

  • SLC-2020 on July 5, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    Indispensable KUSAL J PERERA 's Career Stats: ODIs 30 - Av 26.32 / List-A matches 86 - Av 27.98

    This guy had managed just 409 runs from 23 ODIs without Bangladesh at an pathetic Average of 19.4 . Even Tail-Enders have much better batting averages! During the past 12 months SLC played him in every single ODI (except for a couple of ODIs recently in in Eng), despite sustained failures after failures in Eng/WI/Ireland etc!

    Look at Kithuruwan Vithanage's Career Stats: 6 ODIs - Av 15.00 / List-A 36 matches - Av 15.72

    Way to go SLC ..! Keep scrapping others (with acceptable level of proven records maintained for much longer periods), because they failed a few times! There will be no end to this, until everyone earmarked for National Squad is on board, for sure...!!!

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 5, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    I don't see SL beating SA this time.

  • AraZoyza on July 5, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Pls drop thirimanne he's dragging the good form of srilanka to the mud.Ply Chanimal at no5.Like to see tharanga in the 11 too.

  • Greatest_Game on July 5, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    SL should promote Thirimanne to captain, send him in as an opener, and change his name to Alistair. Then his form name matting position etc would all perfectly match a certain englishman ;))

  • Sinhaya on July 5, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    I will play Vithanage instead of Thirimanne tomorrow. If Thisara fails tomorrow, Priyanjan must play instead on Wednesday next week. Sri Lanka must bat first and post 330 ideally.

  • KingOwl on July 5, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    Thirimanna should not play the first ODI. Surely, it is not difficult to drop the VC temporarily. Dragging an out of form/confidence player through a big series only diminishes their confidence even further. The quality of the player is known. So, it is not as if he is out for good. Just tell him to get some runs in the domestic scene and that he will be back soon. And move on.

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on July 5, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    SL will play full strength team without giving any chances to youngsters. That means they should whitewash SA. At least one win for SA means it's big lost to SL camp. I am not happy this playing XI at all. But I wish SL to win all the matches in series.simply whitewash SA.

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 5, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    @harshani. Thanks for ur feedback. But I didn't comment not only after they played 10-15 matches. Selectors hv given them enough opportunity. But they didn't still prove that their selection is worth .Playing 60-70 ODI isn't a big num to judge the player's future?Do u think SL selectors should give 100-150 ODI to show player 's standard? . they r very inconsistent . according to u, players can be kept in the team due to previous records. So what did SL cricket get after giving so many opportunities to Kapugedara,Mubarak and Silva? Nothing . This is same for Chandimal also . Don't jump to conclusion when u see someone comment.

  • on July 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Winning the first match at premadasa is very important as other 2 vanues do not provide so much home advantage as they could offer more bounce. If they play thirimanna and mendis for the first ODI, it could backfire.

  • Ups1 on July 5, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    For SL - Thirimanne needs to find his form, and quickly too, otherwise Chandimal will find a place back into the side so that he can challenge Thirimanne for the walking wicket award :P Mendis is mentally weak. When he gets it, he bowls absolute rubbish and gets hammered. AB, Amla and co could end up taking him to the cleaners. Major concern for the WC on those flat-ish wickets. Perera needs to find a bit of consistency with both bowl and bat. Someone should tell him that there's a whole section of the field he's not seeing - the off-side! Kula is generally okay for limited overs matches in Asia but he'll get hammered by good batting sides in the WC, particularly if he doesn't find any swing (more so in Aus than NZ). A la Matty Hayden coming down the pitch and whacking him over his head! Except it'll be Warner nowadays.

    This SA XI (especially if Kallis plays) will present a huge challenge for the hosts! If the hosts are favourites, then it's not by much! Good luck to both teams.

  • on July 5, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    @Jeewaka9999 - FYI. Kapugedara and Chamara Silva still scores runs in the domestic level. That does not mean they should come in. @Malin - Good point. If the pitch spins, better to have Ashan there.

  • on July 5, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    @Jeewaka9999 - You gotta be kidding me right? Kula has been more economical than Malinga in the last few seasons. He has won us matches not only with his tight bowling but also with his late batting heroics. Youngsters have a long way to go before displacing him in that line up. Thiri was the guy who took us to that Asia cup tittle. Mahela played some very important innings in that ENG series, both in ODIs and in Tests. Chandimal looked really good in the test match he played and he seems to have the nack of being in the side and contributing useful runs in tests when we make history in away matches. Just don't look at the highlights package and the scorecard after the match. You can hardly take a proper decision from that. Watch the whole game and then see who is making the impact.

  • on July 5, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    @Jeewaka9999. if it is very easy to axe an international player as u say, only sanga,mali,and u will play in this squad pls dont mess international stands with domestic. see why KJP playing? his basics very suitable for this level and he pick the length very early. dont forget what hapend to dilshan munaweera ,mahela udawatta ??? just beacouse of doing well in domestic we cant add a player in international it will ruin the player , my view is thiri and chandi must get more chances they will show their true colors in futer

  • TopC on July 5, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Go The Boks, leave The sleepy Lions in the dust :)

  • cjchanaka on July 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Watch out these battles...dilshan v amla , kusal & thisara v kok & miller, mathews v duminy (great finishers), malinga v steyn (best in the world), sanga & mahela v kallis & abd (modern masters).That means everything is there,this is going to be a real contest.This is the best SA ODI team has come here ever.So we have to play our best cricket despite having dreamy 2014 so far.ALL THE BEST LIONS...............-:)

  • on July 5, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    why ajantha mendis get this much chances! hope he will be get waked tomorrow.. and i don't know why thirimanne playing instead of prihanjana! and dropping chandimal is a big big mistake

  • YsaKaru on July 5, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    i agree with andrew's lankan XI.hopefully we'll win this series..... GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!!!

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    why grandstand tickets cheap this time ,,, expecting a rain ????????

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 5, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    We hv lot of young talented fast bowlers now. I think, time is over for Kulasekara . 152 ODI - 168 wickets. He takes 1 wkt per match. It is not enough for a leading fast bowler. He doesn't hv pace .It is so easy to play . so please give more chances to other fast bowlers who r now limited only for test matches. Otherwise it is a big unfair for them. I think Kule is useful in t20 Bcoz his big hitting help us

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 5, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    This is a great yr for SL cricket team so far. I think we won matches mainly due to Sanga, Matthews, herath, and young fast bowlers. Still there r lot of passengers in the SL team. Mahela and Tharanga r always inconsistent. They perform once in 10-15 matches. It is good that Chandimal was dropped at the end.84 ODI 1942 runs.ave 30.. This is also not different for thirimanne also . 68 ODI-1423 runs Ave 30. Strike rate 68. I think it is more than enough for these 2. Why do selectors can't give chances to other young talented batsmen in domestic cricket before Sanga retires. So our selectors r going to test younger players with these 2 non performers in the future? If so we will lose most matches after 2015. So r we going to produce next Kapugedara, or Mubarak or Chamara Silva with these 2.? Giving lot of changes but Nether SLC nor players get the benefit. So drop them when not performing . It is the beginning for them again not the end as most of us think

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Mahela too experienced a slump in his batting form when he was first made the vice-captain sometime ago and I wonder whether even Malinga struggled with his bowling when he was the vice captain of the T20 side!

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    Mahela too experienced a slump in his batting form when he was made the vice captain sometime back.

  • on July 5, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I think Priyanjan will be there instead of Thisara Perera.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 5, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    I think Priyanjan will be there instead of Thisara Perera.

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    Mahela too experienced a slump in his batting form when he was made the vice captain sometime back.

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    Mahela too experienced a slump in his batting form when he was first made the vice-captain sometime ago and I wonder whether even Malinga struggled with his bowling when he was the vice captain of the T20 side!

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 5, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    This is a great yr for SL cricket team so far. I think we won matches mainly due to Sanga, Matthews, herath, and young fast bowlers. Still there r lot of passengers in the SL team. Mahela and Tharanga r always inconsistent. They perform once in 10-15 matches. It is good that Chandimal was dropped at the end.84 ODI 1942 runs.ave 30.. This is also not different for thirimanne also . 68 ODI-1423 runs Ave 30. Strike rate 68. I think it is more than enough for these 2. Why do selectors can't give chances to other young talented batsmen in domestic cricket before Sanga retires. So our selectors r going to test younger players with these 2 non performers in the future? If so we will lose most matches after 2015. So r we going to produce next Kapugedara, or Mubarak or Chamara Silva with these 2.? Giving lot of changes but Nether SLC nor players get the benefit. So drop them when not performing . It is the beginning for them again not the end as most of us think

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 5, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    We hv lot of young talented fast bowlers now. I think, time is over for Kulasekara . 152 ODI - 168 wickets. He takes 1 wkt per match. It is not enough for a leading fast bowler. He doesn't hv pace .It is so easy to play . so please give more chances to other fast bowlers who r now limited only for test matches. Otherwise it is a big unfair for them. I think Kule is useful in t20 Bcoz his big hitting help us

  • on July 5, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    why grandstand tickets cheap this time ,,, expecting a rain ????????

  • YsaKaru on July 5, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    i agree with andrew's lankan XI.hopefully we'll win this series..... GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!!!

  • on July 5, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    why ajantha mendis get this much chances! hope he will be get waked tomorrow.. and i don't know why thirimanne playing instead of prihanjana! and dropping chandimal is a big big mistake

  • cjchanaka on July 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Watch out these battles...dilshan v amla , kusal & thisara v kok & miller, mathews v duminy (great finishers), malinga v steyn (best in the world), sanga & mahela v kallis & abd (modern masters).That means everything is there,this is going to be a real contest.This is the best SA ODI team has come here ever.So we have to play our best cricket despite having dreamy 2014 so far.ALL THE BEST LIONS...............-:)

  • TopC on July 5, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Go The Boks, leave The sleepy Lions in the dust :)