At Kandy, August 22. No result. Toss: South Africa. International debut: P. L. Symcox.
The opening international was spoiled by rain, which reduced it to 46 overs before the teams could make a start. After another interruption rain ended the Sri Lankan innings prematurely. Further showers revised South Africa's target repeatedly, before rain finally concluded proceedings after only 14 overs. Mahanama and Hathurusinghe had benefited from some wayward bowling to put on 110 for the first wicket before some tight off-spin from Symcox slowed the scoring. South Africa's batting looked even more uncertain against the sharp off-spin of Muralitharan.