The T20 series between Sri Lanka and South Africa concludes on Tuesday when the two sides meet once again in Colombo with the tourists chasing a whitewash after winning the opening two games. Sri Lanka have one last chance to get a chalk on the board.
In terms of a competitive edge to this match the series probably doesn’t provide it but the fact outings are beginning to run out before these two begin their World T20 campaign should make up for the lack of the series being alive.
We’ve seen everything we knew about Sri Lanka in this series so far. We know that are inconsistent and in the two matches to date they have offered up a competitive showing and one where they were miles off it. If they are going to be a factor at the World T20 next month then they have to at least know that each time they go onto the field they are going to be competitive. That makes this a huge match for them.
To be fair it is probably wrong to single out all of their side for inconsistency because in the main their bowlers have been consistent for the last little period. The problem really is their batting. They look like they are building something in the 50 over sphere with the bat but they just can’t find anything in terms of batting as one unit in the 20 over game. Occasionally there is an individual effort that makes them competitive but if one of those doesn’t come along huge defeats lie the one they suffered in the second match is the end result.
South Africa have got the series won with a match to spare and to be fair to them they have been decent enough. They haven’t played like a side who will win the World T20 next month but they have been ruthless in these two matches and that is a good foundation to build from. They have batted pretty well in the series so far. They can be better but as I’ve said in the opening two games that is probably only likely to come when they switch the balance of their batting.
The good thing about that batting unit is they probably don’t need to bang away at huge scores because by going in a batter light they have extra bowling options which means that in all conditions they should have everything they need. That puts pressure on their bowlers but so far in this series we have seen them handle that pressure with ease. The interesting thing to see is whether they have the bowling depth for this style to be successful in the long-term.
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You would think Sri Lanka would want to use their squad ahead of the World T20 and it would make more sense if they switch their batters around because that is the area they are struggling. Avishka Fernando would be an obvious player to recall.
Wiaan Mulder, George Linde, Lizaad Williams, Lungi Ngidi and Sisanda Magala have all yet to see the cricket field in this series so you would think some of those will get their chance to shine here. Kagiso Rabada is an obvious player to rest while Tabraiz Shamsi could sit this out as well.
Apart from that Dinesh Chandimal innings in the opening game, at no stage in the series have Sri Lanka showed that they are close to putting up a big innings and a third match in five days on this square means the conditions aren’t likely to change that much that will allow them to suddenly fire into life here so I think we need to expect another low scoring match here. The runs line here is down at 290.5 but that still doesn’t look low enough to me.
I guess the danger is that South Africa bring a few of their fringe bowlers into the game but when you look at who they have to come in, while there is a drop off, I don’t think it is as significant as you would expect and even then they are going up against a Sri Lanka batting line up which has failed to perform for a while now. Sri Lanka are bowling pretty well though so I’m expecting another low scoring game. Sri Lanka are yet to score 140 in the series and if that trend doesn’t change here it is hard to see this one going over.
Back Under 290.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365