Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - SL look to overcome batting troubles to avoid clean sweep. Batting has been Sri Lanka's weak link in this series so far.
Batting has been Sri Lanka's weak link in this series so far.
Having clinched a third T20I series on the trot, South Africa will be aiming for a clean sweep of the Twenty20 games against Sri Lanka in what will be the final international assignment for both teams ahead of the T20 WC that starts next month.
South Africa have been the superior team with the use of spin while they've also batted well against the slower bowlers, which has helped them enjoy an unassailable lead in the three-match series. Sri Lanka will be hoping to find some answers, especially with their batting, as they attempt to avoid their second T20I series whitewash in the last four months.
Batting has been Sri Lanka's weak link – be it the 0-3 loss in the T20I series in England in June this year, the two losses to South Africa in this series so far, or even their 2-1 victory against a second-string Indian side before this series. In the 11 T20Is Sri Lanka have played in this year, there have been only four individual half-centuries – two of which have been scored by Dinesh Chandimal.
With Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella serving bans for breaching COVID-19 protocols in England and the non-availability of Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka have plenty of worries going into the T20 WC, where they will first have to play the qualifiers to make it to the Super 12.
Meanwhile, Kusal Perera, making his return after recovering from COVID-19, looked promising in the last game and a lot will depend on him to give Sri Lanka a good start. But the finish will also matter a lot and Sri Lanka will need some of the inexperienced players in the middle order to step up, having posted a highest of 131 in the last five innings they've batted first, while their chases this year have been abject whenever oppositions have posted 160 or more.
South Africa's spinners have profited more than their Sri Lankan counterparts on spin-friendly pitches in Colombo, with even Aiden Markram bagging a career-best 3-21 in the last game. Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi have all been amongst the wickets, which augurs well for South Africa leading into the T20 WC that will be played on pitches which may not necessarily provide plenty of help for spin but there will be some for sure.
When: Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00 PM local time
Where: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
What to expect: Temperatures hovering around 28-degree Celsius and a rain-free evening has been forecast. The pitch is expected to favour the spinners again.
Sri Lanka: The hosts could look at giving Dhananjaya de Silva a break considering his batting struggles in this series. Avishka Fernando might come back in his place and take the opening position, with Dinesh Chandimal batting at No. 3.
Probable XI: Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama, Maheesh Theekshana
South Africa: Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo and Lizaad Williams, part of South Africa's T20 WC squad, were excluded from the eleven for the first two games in this series. A couple of them or all three might get an opportunity in the third T20I.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj (c), Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.
What they said
“Maybe in the past, when we got to spinning wickets, we had a reluctance in picking spinners so that's been a refreshing change. We are picking teams according to the conditions and we have the players to back it up” – Tabraiz Shamsi is happy with South Africa's spin arsenal.
There have been question marks of late about my form away from home, and now to actually start producing (runs) from my hard work and start winning series is a big thing, especially on subcontinent tours” – Quinton de Kock is deighted at South Africa's three series wins on the bounce.