Spin to the rescue: It took T Perera and K Perera less than ten overs to completely turn the tables on South Africa. Faf was forced to look towards spin in search of that breakthrough and Shamsi doesn’t disappoint. Soft dismissal. Tossed up delivery, outside off. Thisara came forward in defence but gave away a slight edge to the keeper. While de Kock appeals, Shamsi looks expectantly towards the umpire who raises his finger after taking a couple of seconds. He leaps in the air. The 92-run partnership off 8.5 overs has now been broken and SL are down to their last recognised batting pair, with Akila Dananjaya coming in next. Duminy into the attack from the other end.
MOVING ON: In the three overs since they got together, the two Pereras have now taken the attack to the opposition and nearly doubled Sri Lanka’s score of 36 at the end of the ninth over. Mulder and Phehlukwayo have both struggled a wee bit, giving away 16 and 12 run overs to begin their day. Drinks on the field now.
Jayasuriya’s turn now. In the corridor of uncertainty and that poke away from the body. De Kock is having a busy day behind the stumps, but he won’t be complaining. Rabada’s third, fifth for South Africa.
Wicket-maiden for Lungi: Ngidi joins the party. Mathews pokes at an outside off delivery this time. Bounces extra as well. Amla grabs a thick edge at first slip. Easy peasy!
Brilliant piece of fielding from Duminy and he’s run out Upul Tharanga! Good length ball, Tharanga taps it to the mid off and takes off for a single but the throw from Duminy beats him at the non-striker’s end. He had one stump to aim at and he’s hit the bulls eye! Umpires are checking even as Duminy is super confident and South Africa are celebrating. Third wicket down early, Sri Lanka. Mathews is in.
And here’s the second one: Rabada at it again. Away-going delivery and Kusal Mendis pokes at it. Takes a feather on the way to the keeper. Loud appeal but the umpire takes a moment before raising the dreaded finger. The hosts are two-down already! Here’s Kusal Perera.
EARLY BLOW: Dickwella falls! Rabada has struck with just the third ball of the game and proves Faf right! Full toss – an invitation to hit – and he’s gifted his wicket away! Chips is straight to Shamsi who holds on to a low catch at midwicket. Kusal Mendis is the new man in.
Alright then, we’re all set. Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella are out to open Sri Lanka’s innings. Kagiso Rabada has the new ball. Quite overcast and windy. Faf said he wouldn’t mind bowling first for there could be some movement on offer.
The teams for today:
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock(w), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Willem Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews(c), Niroshan Dickwella(w), Thisara Perera, Shehan Jayasuriya, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Kumara
We’re working on getting you the two Playing XIs shortly.
A little delayed but we now have the official confirmation. Sri Lanka have opted to bat after winning the toss.
Toss coming up in 15. Stay tuned!
As for the hosts, Sri Lanka would be keen to get their 50-over cricket back on track with under 12 months to go for the World Cup. For the statistically inclined, they have lost as many as 25 ODIs out of 34 since January 1, 2017.
After two forgettable Tests, South Africa would be keen to overturn their fortunes. The visitors have warmed up for the limited-overs leg of the series with a 63-run win in the practice game. The white ball won’t turn as much as the red ball did, but as comforting as that factor would be for South Africa, they know it’s still an area of concern and have worked hard to be able to counter it. Can they carry on the momentum? Read the preview of the series opener here.
Hello and welcome! We’re back on with the live blog for the ODI series opener between the hosts Sri Lanka and South Africa!
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