Match factsTuesday, August 06, 2013
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)
Big PictureSri Lanka's players might have often heard that the sport they play is a great leveller, but they might not have thought the highs and lows could come in such quick succession. Four nights after Sri Lanka had embarrassed South Africa 4-1, they are pondering their own humiliation. The world's top-ranked Twenty20 side is one game away from being whitewashed at home. If they fail on Tuesday, they will lose that ranking and slip to third, behind Pakistan and South Africa, who will rise from fifth.
Form guide(most recent first, last five completed matches)
Sri Lanka: LLWWW
South Africa: WWLWL
Players to watchThisara Perera was effective with both bat and ball in the ODI series, but has only bowled one over in the Twenty20 series, and has not been at his explosive best with the bat. There is talk that he is the most underutilised player in the Sri Lanka team, batting as low as he does, but if he is to move further up, he will have to play match-winning cameos with more consistency than he manages now.
Pitch and conditionsThe Hambantota Stadium's evening gusts had a major effect on Sunday, with batsmen picking certain areas of the ground to hit to, and swing bowlers benefiting from some extra assistance. The wind has been a feature of the ground since its debut, as has the pitch that has proven difficult for batsmen. The weather is expected to be fine for the match.
Team newsIt is difficult to predict whether Sri Lanka will stick with their plan to play only three senior batsmen. The prospect of being whitewashed might spur them to play their best XI, but Kusal Perera also showed signs of reclaiming some form in his 21 in the last match, when he was given wrongly given out. There is also a chance Lahiru Thirimanne is the man to make way.
Stats and trivia
- Kumar Sangakkara is the leading run-scorer (98 runs) in this series, just as in the last one. Sri Lanka also have the leading wicket-taker, in Sachithra Senanayake (five wickets)
- In six Twenty20s in Hambantota, the side batting first has lost only once - when South Africa played Zimbabwe in the last WorldTwenty20
Quotes"The plan against their spinners was to be confident and try and unsettle them. Even though they might get wickets, we still tried to unsettle them. I think it's working. We played Mendis really well in the last two games."
Faf du Plessis on his team's increasing confidence against Sri Lanka's slow bowlers.
Dinesh Chandimal on why Ajantha Mendis bowled out in the second match, despite going for 39 and taking no wickets, yet Thisara Perera was unused.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here