Your essential guide to the fifth ODI between the Proteas and Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka won the nail-biting fourth ODI to prevent a whitewash and, in the process, gave the Proteas some food for thought after the visitors enjoyed three convincing victories. The final match of the series could well be the one that defines how the teams compare with each other, now that Sri Lanka has tasted victory.
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is already back home in South Africa, so his charges have to step up and show what they can do without his stabilising hand.
Quinton de Kock will be looking forward to the opportunity of putting his experience of leading the Proteas in the fourth ODI to fresh use in the fifth ODI. The Proteas bowled and batted really well during the match, but clinical Sri Lankan bowling at the end saw them pip the visitors to the win. Rain interruptions made it a tricky captaincy debut for De Kock, but his overall reading of the game was good and he will be hoping for a full 50 overs per side to put his match tactics into effect.
Sri Lanka have broken their 10-match losing streak at home and will be filled with confidence, but the Proteas’ fire is sure to burn bright after a commanding series in which their players have dominated the batting and bowling charts. They will be keen to prove themselves again in a full 50-overs contest after the rain-reduced fourth ODI.
Fortune favours the team batting first in Colombo, with 67 of the 126 ODIs played at the R. Premadasa Stadium being won by the team batting first. The average target set at the ground historically has been 232, so we can expect a good contest between bat and ball. Big scores are a possibility, however, and India scored 375-5 at the ground in 2017, with Virat Kohli (131) and Rohit Sharma (104) enjoying what the pitch had to offer.
Players to watch
The South African pace attack bowled superbly in the last ODI, albeit on a very batting-friendly wicket. The selectors are likely to keep the same team in place for the players to gain experience. Lungi Ngidi has been outstanding in the series and leads the wicket stakes with 10 to his credit, while Andile Phehlukwayo has picked up seven wickets and has looked handy with the bat. David Miller could be a key batsman on this wicket, as he has looked solid during the series but will be eager to stamp his mark to ensure he stays top of the selectors’ minds ahead of the World Cup.
The Sri Lanka side will be buoyed by their brilliant performance in the fourth ODI, and openers Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga will be key for the home side to get their innings off to a powerful start. Skipper Angelo Mathews has also been threatening to make a major impact on the series, and the Proteas will be looking to get his wicket early.
1. Hashim Amla
2. Quinton de Kock
3. Reeza Hendricks
4. Aiden Markram
5. JP Duminy
6. David Miller
7. Wiaan Mulder
8. Andile Phehlukwayo
9. Kagiso Rabada
10. Tabraiz Shamsi
11. Lungi Ngidi
Sri Lanka XI
1. Niroshan Dickwella
2. Upul Tharanga
3. Kusal Mendis
4. Kusal Perera
5. Angelo Mathews (c)
6. Thisara Perera
7. Shehan Jayasuriya
8. Akila Dananjaya
9. Suranga Lakmal
10. Lakshan Sandakan
11. Lahiru Kumara
- Ngidi is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 10 wickets at an average of 20.10 (strike rate 6.21), and best figures of 4-57.
- JP Duminy is the leading run-scorer in the series with 215 runs at an average of 71.66 (strike rate 139.61).
- Sri Lanka have beaten South Africa in three of the four matches they have played at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The fifth ODI starts on Sunday at 11am SA time.
Photo: Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images