Sri Lanka v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Pallekele July 8, 2014

Series at stake for jolted hosts

56

Play 01:28
Expect a slow and turning pitch - Miller

Match facts

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

Though the fading Colombo light helped hasten Sri Lanka's demise in the first ODI, dropped catches and panicked batting marked their road to defeat. As the teams move to the outstations, the hosts must put their game in order or risk being left in the dark in a series they are expected to win.

Of most concern is Sri Lanka's middle order. Lahiru Thirimanne is still in the grip of the vice-captains' curse, having not seemed himself since the promotion. Ashan Priyanjan is prone to the indiscretions of inexperience - like his advancing slog against the turn to Imran Tahir.

Even Mahela Jayawardene is experiencing a lull in ODIs. He has hit two fifties in his last 20 innings - though it is revealing that one came in the Asia Cup final, and the other in the deciding ODI against England. Maybe two must-win games at home will coax him back to near his best.

South Africa have reason to feel more comfortable in Kandy than they did in Colombo. The Pallekele surface often has more bounce and pace than most in the subcontinent. This match will be played in the evening (with any luck, SLC has organised for the floodlights to be switched on this time) and the temperature is two or three degrees lower than at the coast in any case. This venue was also the scene of their only win during their last visit to the country, in 2013.

More importantly, key men have begun with intent, seemingly desperate not to repeat the mistakes of their last tour to the island. Hashim Amla's Premadasa ton was a delight, as he mixed two good measures of fleet-footed positivity with a pint of watchful defence against the spinners. AB de Villiers was efficient and belligerent. Imran Tahir's flailing wicket celebrations are in ripping form, just like his legspin. And the seam attack hunted effectively together.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: LWWLW
South Africa:WWWWL

In the spotlight

Some Sri Lanka players have venues that seem to complete them. Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath shed tears of joy every time they behold the Galle Stadium. Mahela Jayawardene shares such a close bond with the SSC pitch, Kumar Sangakkara gets jealous. Pallekele has so far been Tillakaratne Dilshan's field of dreams. He has five hundreds in 10 innings there, amassing 682 runs at 97.42, with a strike rate above 92. He hinted at some good form in Colombo, and going by his recent run, a big score is never distant for Dilshan.

Like Sri Lanka's three seniors, Jacques Kallis has taken aim at the 2015 World Cup, and hoped his skill and reflexes will continue to serve him until the end of that tournament. He has been a sporadic ODI player over the past two years, but having retired from Tests, will now be keen to make his ODI presence count. He has not had an ideal start to the tour, putting his back out before the warm-up match and collecting a second-ball duck in Colombo, but he has overcome far greater obstacles in the past.

Teams news

There are no injury complaints from the Sri Lanka camp, but the hosts may consider playing Thisara Perera instead of Ashan Priyanjan, depending on whether the surface will assist seam.

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

South Africa are unlikely to change a winning combination.

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

Pitch and conditions

There is always a threat of rain in Pallekele, but the forecast suggests it will be cloudy, but dry for the duration of the match.

Stats and trivia

  • Dilshan hit 115* in his most recent innings against South Africa in Pallekele
  • South Africa has never beaten Sri Lanka in consecutive matches, in Sri Lanka
  • After Sunday's hundred, Amla averages 68 in the country

    Quotes

    "If we want to stay in the series we have to win the match. We can't say anything about conditions or bad light. We have to play well and win it somehow.
    Angelo Mathews

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 9, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    If Ashan was replaced by Kithruwan, we would have been stronger.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Poor team selection again. Sl will loss again if condition not helped.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    One should give credit to Srilankan cricketers to do as well as they do, despite much outside support , especially from the corporates. Look around the ground and see who are the sponsors and advertisers; not many Lankan Cos!

    Unitec ……………….Indian

    Intec……………………Indian

    Cycle …………………...India

    Royal Stag……………Indian

    Donear………………...Indian

    Investec ……………SA + ENG

    Zigo……………………...UAE

    Zigo founder is of SriLankan origin.

    Whatever happened to Dilma?

  • pandian_ikku on July 9, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Could have picked Thisara Perera instead of Thirimanne. Fans can do a better job than SL selectors.

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 9, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    It is not only Thirimanne,Mahela, Ashan but also Kule should perform in this match. He is also out of form. Last 6 ODI only 5 Wkts. I think it is better if we go with Lakmal . If Kule is given a chance..He needs to take wickets to keep his place for next match.

  • The-love on July 9, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Come on SL fans,don't be so hard on Thirimane and Mahela.Thirimane was the guy who won Asia Cup for you.MJ was the guy who played a crucial innings in WT20 final.This year you have won 2 trophies because of these guys.Give them chances so that they gain confidence for next world cup.All the best from India for the match and rest of the tour.

  • on July 9, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Thirimanna is still young and has lot of things to improve before International apperance

  • on July 9, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I just don't understand reason why this feller Thirimanne still in the SL scod. I believe he should be long gone by now. He's just a waste of place and a space. such a one dimensional player who can only hit a occasional six by a slog sweep. Other than that hes more comfortable leaving the ball whether he likes it or not. for gods sake get rid of him. I feel sick every time he comes to bat...

  • martinmoha on July 9, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    if srilanka wants to win this match than Amla and ABD wickets will be key for them.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Drop Mendis and bring in a pacie

  • on July 9, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    If Ashan was replaced by Kithruwan, we would have been stronger.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Poor team selection again. Sl will loss again if condition not helped.

  • on July 9, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    One should give credit to Srilankan cricketers to do as well as they do, despite much outside support , especially from the corporates. Look around the ground and see who are the sponsors and advertisers; not many Lankan Cos!

    Unitec ……………….Indian

    Intec……………………Indian

    Cycle …………………...India

    Royal Stag……………Indian

    Donear………………...Indian

    Investec ……………SA + ENG

    Zigo……………………...UAE

    Zigo founder is of SriLankan origin.

    Whatever happened to Dilma?

  • pandian_ikku on July 9, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Could have picked Thisara Perera instead of Thirimanne. Fans can do a better job than SL selectors.

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 9, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    It is not only Thirimanne,Mahela, Ashan but also Kule should perform in this match. He is also out of form. Last 6 ODI only 5 Wkts. I think it is better if we go with Lakmal . If Kule is given a chance..He needs to take wickets to keep his place for next match.

  • The-love on July 9, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    Come on SL fans,don't be so hard on Thirimane and Mahela.Thirimane was the guy who won Asia Cup for you.MJ was the guy who played a crucial innings in WT20 final.This year you have won 2 trophies because of these guys.Give them chances so that they gain confidence for next world cup.All the best from India for the match and rest of the tour.

  • on July 9, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Thirimanna is still young and has lot of things to improve before International apperance

  • on July 9, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I just don't understand reason why this feller Thirimanne still in the SL scod. I believe he should be long gone by now. He's just a waste of place and a space. such a one dimensional player who can only hit a occasional six by a slog sweep. Other than that hes more comfortable leaving the ball whether he likes it or not. for gods sake get rid of him. I feel sick every time he comes to bat...

  • martinmoha on July 9, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    if srilanka wants to win this match than Amla and ABD wickets will be key for them.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Drop Mendis and bring in a pacie

  • Prem2248 on July 9, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    The manner veterans faced pacies in the last ODI was enough to suggest that none of them can do anything on fast tracks of AUS & NZ. Top batting positions are meant for young batters of lightening reflex with full array of controlled strokes that treats the ball on its merits but not for those sticky-footed batters that try to play risky strokes with immobile bodies. We also don't want those babes that have been unsuccessfully tested over and over again, but the proven sch'boy C'keters. The Game at top level isn't a place for favorites to earn few dollars either, but to groom promising young, before they loose their interest. Since there are no incentives for youngsters to continue with the Game in contrast to young ones of the Test playing countries, many a brilliant sch'boy C'keter of last 2 decades gave up playing, soon after leaving school. This precarious position occur mostly due to selectors continues overlooking of youngsters that have performed well both at School&Domestic.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    It's strange to see non performing Mahela is still in the team. His place is blocking new comers coming to the team

  • schathuranga on July 9, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    Mahela please retire. we love you.

  • on July 9, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    SL need to strengthen their middle order which have let them down on many occasions. Maybe give a break to Thisara Perera and Tharanga or Vithanage at the expense of thirimanne & priyanjan as we need a winning combination to match up to the South Africans today and square the series

  • Dulanz on July 9, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    I love your articles. Not this one though :) What you frequently suggest is to send Mahela up the order. What's the point of changing the roles just to accommodate an out of form senior batsman? As the senior man Mahela should do his part at No.4. Kusal isn't consistent, true, but he's doing his role rather than putting the team under pressure straight away. Since Mahela opened batting in one or two games his mentality has been to open the batting. He's not focusing on his role. That's why you see him perform only at special moments. Mahela is the best man for no.4. If he doesn't have that morale he better leave without destroying another young batsman's future. If we want to balance the middle order and keep MJ in the team at the same time, we should bat him at no.6 by allowing mathews to stabilize the inning.

  • ms2000 on July 9, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    so strange to see Thrimanne is still in the team. What waste of a place. What has he done over the last few ODI's? There must be some reason that the general public do not know why he cant be dropped. Why cant Chaturanga come in for Thirimanne?

  • pandian_ikku on July 9, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Mark my words, If we play with Thirimanne today we will lose again,

    1. Kusal 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Upul Taranga 5. Jayawardena 6. Mathews 7. Thisara 8. Senanayake 9. Nuwan Kulasekara 10. Lakmal/ Mendis 11. Malinga

    If they go with this combination we will win for sure. This is a team who can chase 300+ score. Last match was already lost ever since SA scored 300+.

    Anyway bowlers have to restrict SA to at lease 280. Getting few early wickets is the key. Otherwise what ever the SA scored in first 30 overs they will double it in next 20 overs.

    If we win the toss we have to bat first.

  • Slboom on July 9, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    I propose Upul Thranga to be in as a middle order player. I remember last time batted no 05, scored 50+ with good strike rate (100+), ( he will be batting on 2nd power play ). My team will be 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Tharanga 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Senanayake 9.Kulasekara 10.Herath/Lakmal 11.Malinga Mendis was pretty expensive in last match too and he is not playing intelligent cricket, so better keep him out from playing XI. Also expecting dilshan to be ball early and Mathews may ball 2 overs inside the power play. Last match, balling changes also bit confused.

  • MelbourneMiracle on July 9, 2014, 3:12 GMT

    @chethanaromesh: hehehehe you've put the names of all the 15 players of the squad...only 11 can play...even a small kid knows that some 11 should be picked from those 15 players...you put all 15 names for us to pick the best XI?? hehehehe

  • on July 9, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    In England, we have A tour which includes only 50 over matches. Why the selectors are not giving chandimal a chance to regain his form by touring with A team. However, He played well when he was given no:04 or No. 05. Recent ODI series against Pakistan, He was the top scorer. He scored good 64 when he was given a chance by resting Mahela in Bangladesh. In Ireland ODI he scored 39..Only problem is he is sending different places in Batting Order. Now they are doing this to Thirimanna...Why he was sent at no07...if he was sent no. 05 , match could be in our hand. Since Priyanjan is good at slogging...For this Match, Thisara and Lakmal should be in. Lakmal has good yoker too..

  • Kinguru007. on July 9, 2014, 2:59 GMT

    I think this should be the LAST CHANCE for Thrimane.... You better score boy!

  • on July 9, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    SL will loss again if they play with Thirimanne, Priyanjan and Mahela.

  • on July 9, 2014, 2:31 GMT

    I think Sri lanka need to change the batting line up for 2015 WC in Australia and New Zeland. How about sending Ashan as a opener. He likes to comedown the track and slog hard. with the fielding restrictions it might help him. and send Dily to number 6. 1.Kusal, 2. Ashan, 3.Sanga,4.Mahela, 5.Anji ,6.Dily, 7Chandimal/Kithruwan, 8. Thisara, 9.Sachithra, 10. Kule, 11. Mali 12. Thiri 8 batters , 2 all-rounders, 4 fast b and 2 spinners. Just an Idea from a Cricket fan.

  • on July 9, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    Dz will b a gud test 4 sri lankan spinners. Common lions. Show ur colors. Cheers

  • chethanaromesh on July 9, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    my team for today match, 1. kusal/tharanga/kithruwan 2. dilshan 3. sangakkara 4. mahela 5. thirimanne/tharanga/kithruwan 6. mathews 7. ashan/thisara 8. kulasekara 9. senanayake 10. mendis/herath/lakmal 11. malinga/lakmal

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 9, 2014, 1:38 GMT

    I also like to say how Mavan was handled by past selectors... when he failed in his first 6 innings he was dropped and given lot of A tours. He was the Captain of SL A team . after some time when he regained his form and confidence..He was given place in 1996. If recent past selectors were there that time they could hv destroyed his career by giving 70-80 ODI despite continuous failure? Then we couldn't see him ever. How recent past selectors destroyed career of Kapugedara, Mubarak, Silva and Chandimal? If these players were properly handled we could hv had lot of Marvans

  • jgoogly on July 9, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    When Ricky Ponting was failing someone asked Ian Chappel about his form. Ian said that he could judge a batter's form only when he gets going.

  • on July 9, 2014, 1:08 GMT

    @spot-on, mate are you referring SA as big team even not won any world event. Last match SA done well compare SL. But in ODI panic, pressure everything can cause to lose matches. Today match both team have equal chances to win as this pitch more suitable to SA and SL has home advantage. Hoping to see competitive close match.

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 9, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    If a player is out of form, it is not acceptable to keep him/them due to past performances. Past is past. Past performances can't win matches now .Dropping doesn't mean career is over. They can come back after regaining form till that place should be given to inform player. Bcoz Cricket team is not a private property of a particular player/s

  • Bobby_Fox on July 8, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    When chandi sacrificed his captaincy from t20 worldcup, why cant thiri sacrifice his place from a series to avoid series loss. anyhow he cant score in critical or pressured situation, its better to drop him and get inform chandi/vbithanage... guys place ur thoughts!!!

  • on July 8, 2014, 18:58 GMT

    im happy for S.A and they look solid set for father Kallis who seems out of touch but he will come around.

  • Bheshu on July 8, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    that the thing about some of the fans from SL, Ind, Pak and Ban, when you talk about the current form of a cricketer they just give you stats. if a cricketer is struggling with his form, accept it. as for us (SA) Kallis is currently struggling with his form, we mustn't be clouded by his stats. Go Proteas.

  • kt-slcrckt on July 8, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    if sri lanka want to win world cup this team must play untill the world cup

    1.kushal/thiri 2.dil 3.sanga 4.chandi 5.mahela 6.mathews 7.ashan/chathuramga(batsman who can bowl spin)8.thisara?kule 9.sachi 10.mali 11.lakmal

  • on July 8, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    Chamika: That may be true. But this is high quality opposition bowling attack. Past performances do not matter. It is do or die game. If one cannot perform he has to step down. It will only be a temporary exclusion. He can come back after regaining form, confidence and also making necessary technical adjustments.

  • on July 8, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    Priyantha Gunaratna dont foget thirimanne was the man of the series in Asia cup!!! Not only that mahela and thirimanne both of them preforming same pattern in the recent passed... i'm 100% sure thirimanne will make unforgettable thing. wait and see.

  • on July 8, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    As mentioned in some other comments appointing Thirimanne as vice captain across all formats was a big mistake. I cannot see in the field he is assisting the captain. All the good suggestions still come from Mahela mostly. Now they have created a situation where because of vice captain Thirimanne cannot be dropped. He has become a mere passenger in the team. The big question, is he that good enough to give an extended run without contributing with the bat? He can score runs and win a game in an ODI only when he is able to bat in test match mode when the asking rate is manageable. That was what happened in last ODI against England. But that is not the scenario most of the time. So when he is out of form or whatever he looks terrible. The case of Mathews is different. He was always an automatic selection in the team under Mahela. So making him vice captain at that time was justifiable.

  • asirigamage on July 8, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    I think Farvees Maharoof will be the best replacement for no 7 in this team.he should come to the place of ashan priyanjan maharoof is good form with the bat and he can bowl 6 7 overs in the middle also he is a wicket taking bowler

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    Kallis should be bowling .If he bowls 4-5 overs he provides good balance to the team . If Kallis wants to make the team he should do it as an allrounder .His bowling skills would be vital in ODIs .Of course one duck does not mean you judge a great like Kallis but as with all other greats age might have just started catching up with him and hence slight reduction in his batting performances .He has an advantage over the other greats as he can bowl a few economical overs if he fails with the bat .As for the three seniors of SL in dead rubber matches they should all be rested and youngsters should be blooded in to give some intl practice before WC to be safe .All in all hoping for a good match .

  • onebump on July 8, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    @SPOT_ON - i guess you dont see the irony of your statement. It is getting the odd match that hurts. Need consistent exposure to improve. SL played 4 series in England in the alst 12 years and that has given the knowledge to beat England in different formats. The head coach, the bowling coach and the senior players had experience of English conditions that helped develop the side with the limited talent available to capitalise on an uncertain English side. That is all SL fans are asking for.... a few regular series and we will improve with the experience being ingrained in the system. Get it?

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    @spot_on, um sorry, but you are still talking about the same team who just won the Asia Cup and WT20, trounced England across all 3 formats, not to mention a whitewash before all that?

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    I guess the defeat in the first ODI is an eye opener, we cant take things for granted when playing top nations...there were so many mistakes right through out the match...bowling Priyanjan the 48th over was a big mistake and Priyanjan batting at no 5 was even a bigger mistake when Thirimanne was still in the team, we shouldn't criticize too much on thiri as he won so many matches for Srilanka in the recent past nd he is one of those players we can trust!!! Pls support him give him much needed confidence specially via media..we should do the same thing to Chandimal as SL cricket has invested a lot on those two players as they have the potential to be top cricketers!!!!!!

  • on July 8, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    hope sa will win the series.best of luck sa.also hope kallis will make a 100 tomorrow.

  • spot_on on July 8, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Good luck Saffas. I hear few lankan fans complaining about SL not getting enough matches against bigger teams to prove their world beating ability. Lets see what they can do when they actually get it and that too in their home.

  • Jeewaka9999 on July 8, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    i wish good luck for my team. but i think eventhough we win this series we hv few problems in both batting or bowling. Do we hv enough wicket taking bowlers in our ODI side? At the moment Maling and Ajantha r the only 2 bowler. if these 2 fail we r in a trouble. economical spell alone can't win matches for us .Malinga 172 ODI 263 wkt, Mendis 74 ODI 131 wkts, Kule 154 ODI 168 wkts, Senanayake 35 ODI-38 wkts but SA side all r wicket taking bowlers. they hv better bolwing line up than us. i think it is better if we replace Kule with Lakmal. Lakmai is a wicket taknig bowler. 27 ODI 38 wkts. My XI Dilshan, Kusal, Sanga, Mahela, Tharanga, Mathews,Thisara, Senanayaka, Mendis, Malinga, Lakmal.... Prasad is alsp impressive in ODI sofar14 ODI 22 wkts.

  • chandimasl on July 8, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    The major probIemm I see in our team is the selection of players based on their talent and performance to the correct format. The expertise of the selection committee can clearly be questioned here. This was evident when Chandimal was appointed as the t20 captaincy and later appointing thirimanna as vice captain in every format. Because players like thirimanna and chandimal are more suited for tests and odi s. Because of their natural talent. However I still feel that players like kapugedara is still suited for t20s and he should be in the side.

    As a selector i feel that Aravinda did a fine job by grooming the players. Though the mistakes of the world cup final in 2011 had some other factors to change his decisions.

    We are yet to find a solid middle order batsmen. I think it should be sorted out as soon as possible.Tharanga may be a good option as he is bit shaky with the moving ball as an opener.

  • chandimasl on July 8, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    It is going to be high pressure game for SL since SA has already taken the lead of the series. However the performance of the middle order should be considered thoroughly. I prefer thirimanna and priyanjan to be rested and bringing tharanga annd thisara in. As a middle order batsmen tharanga has proved he can handle the pressure well in AUS. So it is worthy to consider him as a middle order batsmen. And also even though mendis did pick wickets in last match he is highly vulnerable and leaking runs regularly. Since it is a must win game Herath should be used.

    The appointing of thirimanna as the vice captain is a big mistake. These selectors are not grooming the young talent but they ruin them by providing unnecessary pressure. They did this to Chandimal and now it is to thirimanna.

  • on July 8, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Mahela hasn`t done anything in ODIs in last 2-3 years to justify his position in the team..he should at least bat down the order and let thirimanne or Chandimal to bat at 4

  • rizwan1981 on July 8, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    cricket_slcsupport

    Mahela is the ONLY BIG MATCH PLAYER in the Sri Lankan team - He is the ONLY PLAYER EVER to score a century in the Semi Final and Final of the World Cup - Mahela is also the best slip fielder in the country and has the MOST number of catches EVER in ODI - You do not drop such a player .

    Thirimanne should be axed and Vithanage brought in - Also , THARANGA , KAPUGEDERA ( one of the few men in Sri Lankan who can clear the long boundaries down under ) and former Royal skipper BHANUKA Rajapaksha.

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 8, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    I see South Africa winning series at this venue. Good luck SA.

  • YsaKaru on July 8, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Thirimanne must bat at no.4.... GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!

  • vimal03 on July 8, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    I want three changes in the team.Thisara Perera should replace Ashan Priyanjan, Hearth replacing Ajantha Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne batting at number 4. Jacques Kallis will be dangerous tomorrow.

  • cricket_slcsupport on July 8, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Drop Mahela. He's fading Sri Lankan star. Give a chance to Vithanage. Make Maliga vice-Captain for ODI's.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Plz Bring back Tharanga and thisara they r the big asset for Srilanka! tharanga already have won so many matches for lions! and he is huge experience opening batsman! thisara is also match winning allrounder in sl team! he deserves to be part of playing eleven bcoz he have ability to change the game in few seconds like he has done in past for Srilanka...!!! Vithanage also deserves chance...!!! No Doubt vithanage is huge tallented aggressive middle order batsman! Best Of Luck My Lions! SL Fanns r expecting one more brilliant inning from Legend Sanga the backbone of SL Team...!!! i hope Mahela will comeback strongly bcoz he always perform very well at crucial stages Especially in big tournaments Mahela always did outstanding job for his team and played superbly...!!! InShaAllah Lions r going to win this series against Rsa! My Prays r always with My Lions! their Success always make me proud and happy bcoz i love Srilankan team...! Best Of Luck Defending T20 Champions

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Thirimanne shoul play a resposible inning. Hope SL will do their best and will go for the win.We need a awesome final match.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Sri Lanka will come out harder at s a its time to support sanga he cannot win every match by his own as a team every one has to chip in best of luck for both teams

  • Am1la on July 8, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Thisara must play tomorrow instead of Priyanjan and Thiri should bat at no. 5 before Angelo.

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  • Am1la on July 8, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Thisara must play tomorrow instead of Priyanjan and Thiri should bat at no. 5 before Angelo.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Sri Lanka will come out harder at s a its time to support sanga he cannot win every match by his own as a team every one has to chip in best of luck for both teams

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Thirimanne shoul play a resposible inning. Hope SL will do their best and will go for the win.We need a awesome final match.

  • on July 8, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    Plz Bring back Tharanga and thisara they r the big asset for Srilanka! tharanga already have won so many matches for lions! and he is huge experience opening batsman! thisara is also match winning allrounder in sl team! he deserves to be part of playing eleven bcoz he have ability to change the game in few seconds like he has done in past for Srilanka...!!! Vithanage also deserves chance...!!! No Doubt vithanage is huge tallented aggressive middle order batsman! Best Of Luck My Lions! SL Fanns r expecting one more brilliant inning from Legend Sanga the backbone of SL Team...!!! i hope Mahela will comeback strongly bcoz he always perform very well at crucial stages Especially in big tournaments Mahela always did outstanding job for his team and played superbly...!!! InShaAllah Lions r going to win this series against Rsa! My Prays r always with My Lions! their Success always make me proud and happy bcoz i love Srilankan team...! Best Of Luck Defending T20 Champions

  • cricket_slcsupport on July 8, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Drop Mahela. He's fading Sri Lankan star. Give a chance to Vithanage. Make Maliga vice-Captain for ODI's.

  • vimal03 on July 8, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    I want three changes in the team.Thisara Perera should replace Ashan Priyanjan, Hearth replacing Ajantha Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne batting at number 4. Jacques Kallis will be dangerous tomorrow.

  • YsaKaru on July 8, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Thirimanne must bat at no.4.... GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 8, 2014, 13:44 GMT

    I see South Africa winning series at this venue. Good luck SA.

  • rizwan1981 on July 8, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    cricket_slcsupport

    Mahela is the ONLY BIG MATCH PLAYER in the Sri Lankan team - He is the ONLY PLAYER EVER to score a century in the Semi Final and Final of the World Cup - Mahela is also the best slip fielder in the country and has the MOST number of catches EVER in ODI - You do not drop such a player .

    Thirimanne should be axed and Vithanage brought in - Also , THARANGA , KAPUGEDERA ( one of the few men in Sri Lankan who can clear the long boundaries down under ) and former Royal skipper BHANUKA Rajapaksha.

  • on July 8, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Mahela hasn`t done anything in ODIs in last 2-3 years to justify his position in the team..he should at least bat down the order and let thirimanne or Chandimal to bat at 4