With the tie hanging in the balance after the first 2 ODIs of Sri Lanka vs South Africa.
Both teams have it all to play for in the final ODI taking place today at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka took the lead in the series by winning the first ODI with the help of Avishka Fernando’s 118. The overall batting performance of Sri Lanka was also good with Asalanka and Dhananjay Da Silva chipping in with 72 and 44 respectively.
The Proteas came back strong in the second ODI. Even though the game was reduced to 47 overs due to DLS, the proteas outperformed the Lankans in every department.
Janeman Malan scored a sublime 127 and Tabraiz Shamsi picked up 5/49 which drew the series level.
Even though South Africa was missing their captain Buvema who got injured in the first game, the team led by Keshav Maharaj showed why South Africa is one of the top teams in white-ball cricket.
The Lankans final game woes
The last time that Sri Lanka won a deciding game in an ODI was way back in 2014. The new and youthful Lankans side would be itching to remove this fact from history.
Their last two series that went to a decider were vs Zimbabwe in 2017 and India in 2020. They ended up losing both those deciding games as well.
This has to be Sri Lanka’s best chance as the proteas are missing key players.
For Sri Lanka to win the final ODI, they’ll have to focus on picking up more wickets in the middle overs of 15-40. Also, Asalanka scored another 70 plus in the second ODI and will be looking for help from his fellow teammates to put up a respectable total that will give Sri Lanka a chance to win the game.
South Africa missing key players
The proteas are missing captain Temba Buvema as he was injured in the 1st ODI. Star bowler Kagiso Rabada is also likely to miss the final ODI as he turned his ankle in the second ODI. He will do a final fitness test before the match but is doubtful to play.
Sri Lanka must have their tails up in the game as other key players like Quinton De Kock, Lungi Ngidi, and David Miller are also missing from the squad.
Pitch & weather report
Similar to the first two games, a hint of turn but a slow and solid surface. Big ground so running between the wickets will play a crucial role.
Morning rain is expected which will be clear by game time.
Where: R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
When: Tuesday, September 7, 2021. 2.30 pm Local Time. IST: 2:30 PM
Live Streaming: Available on Sony LIV
Sri Lanka squad: Avishka Fernando,. Minod Bhanuka(w), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka(c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Pradeep, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Madushanka, Pulina Tharanga, Binura Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Kamindu Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Maheesh Theekshana
South Africa squad: Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Keshav Maharaj(c), Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lizaad Williams, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Heinrich Klaasen.
Probable playing XI
Sri Lanka possible XI: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama
South Africa possible XI: Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi