After losing the decisive third ODI, South Africa bounced back with a clinical performance in the first T20I, beating Sri Lanka by 28 runs on Friday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Sri Lanka will look to make up for the mistakes across all departments from the first match when they take to the pitch at R. Premadasa Stadium (RPS) in Colombo on Sunday.
Head to Head
Overall - 14 | Sri Lanka - 5 Wins | South Africa - 9 Wins
Last Five Matches: Sri Lanka - 2 Wins | South Africa 3 Wins
Since last year, the RPS has offered competitive pitches where batters and bowlers could excel by making few adjustments to their game. The average first innings score has 135 points in that direction as it was also evident in the first T20I where South African batters were able to score quickly by not trying to slog. Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera, both right-arm pacers, gave away just 16 runs in the final two overs of the first innings while the Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje also succeeded at the toe end of the second innings by taking pace off the ball. The leg-break of Tabraiz Shamsi and Wanindu Hasaranga had made scoring difficult while also claiming crucial breakthroughs for their teams. Infact, leg-spinners with 16 wickets are just behind right-arm pacers who have claimed 21 wickets at the venue since 2020. So, having two leg-spinners, two pacers, one all-rounder alongside few good hitters in your team is an ideal combination.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Based on your preferences, the platform will guide you to create the ideal fantasy XI.
Tabraiz Shamsi was sensational in the ODI series, almost single-handedly winning South Africa the second ODI and put the Sri Lankan batsmen under immense pressure with his lengths in the first T20I. The left-armer almost got three wickets in his first over and then dismissed Charith Asalanka which kept the visitors on top in the middle overs.
Our Criclytics Player Projections predict Shamsi to pick 2-3 wickets in the match
Aiden Markram took on the crucial duty of speeding up the scoring in the first T20I after South Africa lost both openers by scoring 48 off 33 balls. He also added 65 runs in 35 balls with David Miller to take the Proteas to a respectable score as he played few delightful shots against spinners which is key on a flat track at RSA.
Our Criclytics Player Projections predict Markram to score 30-46 runs in the match
Dinesh Chandimal was the lone warrior for Sri Lanka in their chase of 164 as he scored an unbeaten 66 off 54 balls in the first T20I. The keeper-batter is his good scoring touch having scored an unbeaten 54 off 46 balls in his previous match against West Indies.
Our Criclytics Player Projections predict Chandimal to score 44-66 runs in the match
Dasun Shanaka has been a very effective players since being appointed as the captain of Sri Lanka this year. He was vital in restricting South Africa's late surge when he picked up the ball for a single over and got the big wicket of Markram while giving away just four runs. Shanaka also tried his best in building a partnership with Chandimal while chasing but it didn't work out. The all-rounder will be hoping to do better in the second T20I.
Our Criclytics Player Projections predict Shanaka to score15-23 runs and pick 1-2 wickets in the match
Here are the top-11 picks as per Criclytics projected points –
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal (Wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Akila Dananjaya.
South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Quinton de Kock (Wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj (C), Heinrich Klaasen, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Aiden Markram, Bjorn Fortuin.