Sri Lanka take on South Africa in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the R Premadasa Stadium (RPS), Colombo on Thursday (September 2). South Africa have not just had the edge over Sri Lanka historically, but have also dominated them in the last five matches. Overall, South Africa have won 44 out of the 77 matches against Sri Lanka, which includes winning each of the last five matches.
In fact, Sri Lanka’s last win over South Africa came three years ago in 2018 at the RPS, Colombo.
Overall matches: 77 | Sri Lanka 31 wins | South Africa 44 wins | Tie/NR 2
Last 5 matches: Sri Lanka 0 wins | South Africa 5 wins
Suggested teamWhile 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.
Not surprisingly, RPS has been a spin-friendly surface in ODIs played this year. The spinners have accounted for nearly 60% of the wickets on this surface in 2021. They have struck once every 35.4 deliveries, 31.3 runs apart, while the corresponding numbers for the pacers are 42.5 and 42.1 respectively.
The wrist spinners have accounted for 15 out of the 44 wickets to have picked up by the bowlers at this venue, while the finger spinners have accounted for 10. Both teams have quality options in both departments for you to pick from.
All three matches played at RPS this year have been won by the team batting second. Hence, the captain winning the toss, will look to bowl first and avoid to dew in the second half of the game.
Wanindu Hasaranga has been in excellent form with bat and ball in ODI cricket this year. He has been among the most consistent players for his team. He is Sri Lanka’s highest run-scorer in 2021, having slammed 344 runs at 34.40 to go with a strike-rate of close to 97, which includes three fifties in 11 innings. He has been effective with ball in hand as well, with eight wickets from 10 innings to his name. He could be quite a handful at RPS, given how well leg-spinners have done in the recent past.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Hasaranga could fetch 12-42 points in this match
Among fast bowlers, only Mustafizur Rahman has picked up more wickets (18) in ODIs this year, Sri Lanka’s Dushmantha Chameera, who has 16 scalps in 28.9 from 11 matches. This has been an excellent comeback by the fast bowler who made his return to ODI cricket this year after last playing in 2019. His pace and clever disguise has often left the batsmen in trouble and he will be looking to bring all this into play against South Africa this series.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Chameera could fetch 9-39 points in this match
While left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was phenomenal in the T20I series against West Indies and Ireland that saw him go top of the ICC T20I rankings, he has been slowly improving in the 50-over format as well. He has picked up 13 wickets in the 50-over format since 2020 – the most by a South African spinner in this period – and he looks set to add more to his kitty in this series, with the conditions favouring his style of bowling.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Shamsi could fetch 9-39 points in this match
Janneman Malan is certainly one to watch out for in this series. He averages over 120 in his seven ODIs so far, which includes two fifties and as many centuries in six innings. This year alone, he has scores of 70, 84 and 177 not out in his three innings, but he will be thoroughly tested in this three-match series. He and South Africa will hope that he carries on his excellent form.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Malan could fetch 76-112 points in this match