SOUTH AFRICA VS SRI LANKA, 2019
Cricbuzz Staff •
JP Duminy will play his final ODI at home © Getty
After suffering defeats in the Tests, South Africa have bounced back in the best possible fashion in the ODI series. They have hardly put a foot wrong in the first four matches and the wide gulf between the quality of the two sides has been clearly evident on the park.
Duminy’s decision to call it a day from the 50-over-format after the World Cup will add some emotions to this dead rubber. Duminy, who was South Africa’s mainstay in the middle order along with de Villers for a long time, will play for one last time at home in ODIs. And he would like to leave no stone unturned to make this match a memorable one for him and his team.
The Proteas recalled veteran Hashim Amla for the final two ODIs but he won’t be available to feature in this match as he has asked to be excused from the current series on compassionate grounds.
The ills of not converting starts has spread within the South African team, and barring Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, all the other batsmen have wasted their opportunities in the series. In the previous encounter, Aiden Markram was the culprit. South African team management would welcome the contribution from other batsmen in the final match and that includes the seasoned campaigner like Duminy and Miller. The last thing the Proteas would want is to get flattered by this 4-0 scoreline and assume everything is hunky-dory in their World Cup campaign.
Sri Lanka on the other hand are in complete disarray. Their performance in the ODI series has been ordinary and their skipper, Malinga is fully aware of that. He sounded despondent after the last match. He said, “We’re going down the same path, the batsmen have to realize their value and bat long on such wickets.”
Sri Lanka need a miracle to turn things around before the World Cup. However contribution of Isuru Udana lower down the order in the last match might just act as an inspiration for their dysfunctional batting unit.
When: South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, 1 PM local time, 16;30 IST
Where: Newlands, Cape Town
What to expect: We can expect a 300+ score if South Africa bat first. The 22 yards at Newlands have been among the flattest in the country in this format and the last three ODIs at the venue have had three 300-plus scores. The team which has batted first has won two of them. Weather shouldn’t play any part in this match.
South Africa: Reeza Hendricks again failed to use his opportunity at the top of the order. So, Markram might open the batting, with Rassie van der Dussen should replace Hendricks.
Squad: Faf du Plessis(c), Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera will still be unavailable and Sri Lanka don’t have a lot of options on the bench. They might give an opportunity to Angelo Perera who hasn’t been tried in this series yet.
Squad: Lasith Malinga(c), Avishka Fernando, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Angelo Perera, Oshada Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Priyamal Perera, Isuru Udana, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan
What they said:
“The last few months on the sidelines have given me an opportunity to re-assess my career going forward and to plot some goals I’d like to achieve in the future. While a decision like this is never easy, I also feel that it is the right time for me to pass on the baton.” – JP Duminy
“People have to realize the value of the opportunity they’ve got to play for the national side. We have got good exposure before the World Cup and we’ll look to do better.” – Lasith Malinga