Sri Lanka finally got on the board in their ODI series with South Africa in midweek and on Sunday they will look to add another level of gloss on the scoreline when the two sides meet in the fifth and final match in Colombo.
South Africa have already won the series and lead 3-1 heading into the finale but there is a World Cup on the horizon and they have a T20 with South Africa next week so there is no such thing as a dead rubber here.
It was good to see Sri Lanka letting the shackles off and having a real dig with the bat in the previous match. Of course it was much easier to do once the series had been lost and their big task will be to perform like that when there is a competitive element to a contest but for this match there is no need to change their ways.
It was also good to see them dig in with the ball too. They have been taken to the cleaners a couple of times in this series which can happen but there were clear signs that they have something, even in a game with little competitive edge to it. They will need to maintain a discipline and intensity leading into the World Cup but they have given themselves a platform for that.
With the series won South Africa can be forgiven for trialling a few youngsters and a few different combinations. In fact with the World Cup less than a year away they could be criticised if they didn’t have a look at different things so with that in mind their result in the previous game and in this one, as well as their performances probably count for little.
That said though, they will still want to keep the winning feeling in their heads as winning is very much a habit so I would be surprised if they pick combinations which would see them toss this match away so I’m expecting something of a competitive approach from the Proteas with the bat and the ball.
Sri Lanka could make a change or two for this match but they remain without Dinesh Chandimal who is still suspended. Kasun Rajitha could come back into the team with one of the seamers potentially missing out.
South Africa could name the same side which lost last time out. We know they will be without Faf du Plessis as he has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour. Kagiso Rabada is expected to be rested once again.
I’m not going to go too mad with bets in this match because there is nothing competitive on it. I thought about backing Sri Lanka but they have largely been pretty ordinary in this series so I’ve decided to leave that and go for one other.
Thisara Perera has had a great series and I think he can cover his performance line of 42.5. So far in this series he has posted totals of 49, 39, 96 and 91 so he has covered this line on three out of the four occasions and pushed it on the other. Perera should come into his own in this match with the freedom to express himself and I see no reason why he won’t surpass that target once again.
Back T.Perera’s Performance – Over 42.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365