South Africa have already won their ODI series with Sri Lanka and on Wednesday they will look to move to the verge of a whitewash when the two sides meet in the fourth game of the five, this on coming from Port Elizabeth.
Sri Lanka will have been disappointed with their displays in this series, especially after their performances in the Test matches, but with a World Cup on the horizon they can ill afford to ease up over these two matches.
It has been plain sailing for the Proteas in this series so far with Sri Lanka offering little in the way of resistance so far. The home side’s bowling attack has been completely dominant and they have won three matches as a result of that. Their batting is now becoming more of a force as a result of that which is making them look even tougher to beat.
South Africa now have the chance to show that they can be ruthless over the next two matches which could be important come the World Cup when they need to get on a roll of winning games and maintaining their form. I dare say they will try out some combinations here but they should still be determined to come out victorious.
The series might have gone for Sri Lanka but they can’t just give up completely from here. They are running out of matches before the World Cup for them to build some confidence and form to take into that tournament so these next two matches are actually quite big for them even though they are only dead rubbers in name.
I would imagine that Sri Lanka can handle losing to South Africa but to go down in the meek fashion that they have gone under in will be both disappointing and a cause for real concern. You would think that for their own self-belief they have to be competitive in these last two matches at the very least, otherwise significant changes could take place once again.
It would make sense for South Africa to rest the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir in ths match. Rabada has played plenty of cricket this winter while Tahir retires from this form of the game after the World Cup so they need to have an eye on the future.
Sri Lanka’s problems have got worse with the news that Kusal Perera will miss the remainder of the series. That is likely to give his namesake Angelo Perera the chance to stay a claim for a spot in England later in the year.
Sri Lanka haven’t been the remotest bit competitive in this series so far and missing one of their best batsmen I don’t see anything changing here. So far South Africa have won by eight wickets, 113 runs and 71 runs on the D/L method which would have been even heavier had the rain not arrived when it did.
Even if South Africa make changes I don’t think they are going to give up their will to win here and I expect them to put Sri Lanka to the sword once again here. Based on what we’ve seen in the series thus far, a handicap of 5.5wickets and 30.5runs looks a lot but it has been covered with ease three times already. I’ll back it to be done a fourth time.
WON – Back South Africa (-5.5wickets/30.5runs) to beat Sri Lanka for a 4/10 stake at 1.85 with Betway