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Colombo, Aug 4 : Hello and welcome to the 2nd T20I between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Hambantota. South Africa performed exceptionally well to win by a margin of 12 runs in the opening T20I game. They would like to stick to their winning comnbination and clinch the three-match series today itself. On the other hand, the hosts will be keen on making amends and square the series to set up an exciting finale on Tuesday.
Pitch report: Less grass, so more bounce expected. The captain batting first might opt to bat. Lot of breeze at Hambantota and there is some rain in the horizon.
South Africa have won the toss and have opted to bat
Chandimal: 'We are looking forward to stick to our basics and concentrate on our batting. Mahela and Kula are in the squad.'
Faf: 'Looks like a good wicket and we will be looking to set up a good score. Same team and we would love to defend it.'
South Africa (Playing XI): Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock(w), Faf du Plessis(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers, David Miller, David Wiese, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Kushal Janith Perera, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal(c), Kumar Sangakkara(w), Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis
Preview by Gokul Gopal
Following a dismal showing in the ODI series, South Africa secured a moral-boosting victory, prevailing in a low-scoring T20I at Colombo. The visitors will now be hoping to bag another win and clinch the three-match series when they face Sri Lanka at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota on Sunday.
Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan batsmen, who had come up with strong performances in the ODIs, were dismal in the opening Twenty20 game with nine players falling for single-digit scores. While Kumar Sangakkara fought a lone battle, scoring an unbeaten 59, he received no support whatsoever from the rest of the batters with the second highest score being the 11 by Kusal Perera. T20 captain Dinesh Chandimal had no qualms in admitting that the batsmen, including himself, fell to poor shot selections. He expressed hope that they will come up with a better effort in the rest of the series and it is imperative that they do so in order for Sri Lanka to square the series and put the visitors under pressure again.
In stark contrast to the batsmen, The Lankan bowlers had done a terrific job in restricting South Africa to a below-par 115/6. Sachitra Senanayake was the pick of the lot, finishing with 3/14 from his four overs while Angelo Mathews also bowled economically, conceding just 11 runs off his 4 while picking up a wicket. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga were also decent with the ball and Sri Lanka will be hoping that they continue in the same vein. What will be slightly worrying for them is that Ajantha Mendis, who was the Proteas' chief tormentor in the 50-over games, went for a few in the T20 game, going at 8 an over. The hosts will probably look at that performance as an one-off, hoping that the mystery spinner gets back to troubling the South Africans again.
South Africa: Although they managed to pull off a victory, South Africa still have some issues to address with the bat. The top-order has been consistently failing the visiting team, and this time it was Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock and captain Faf du Plessis, who did not have the necessary answers to the guile of Senanayake. If not for JP Duminy's half-century, the chances of South Africa going past 100 also seemed pretty bleak. AB de Villiers and David Miller, batting at Number 5 and 6, also could not produce anything big. The repeated failure of the batsmen will be a big worry for the Proteas, who will be hoping that they lift their game in the remaining matches and support the bowlers.
Duminy was also the star with the ball for the tourists, picking up 3/18 from his quota of overs while Wayne Parnell also did a good job, giving away just 8 runs from his 3 overs while scalping a couple of wickets. Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Imran Tahir too came up with economical spells while Morne Morkel was also amongst the wickets, although he went for 7-an-over. Overall, the bowling attack looks pretty settled and South Africa will be banking on them to deliver again.
Team News: Mahela Jayawardene was not part of the playing eleven in the opening game as skipper Chandimal mentioned that they were using this series strategically, building a side for the World T20 next year. He also said that their plan is to include only two senior players in the eleven, which means that if Mahela has to play at Hambantota, it will be at the expense of either Sangakkara or Dilshan. The visitors, meanwhile, are unlikely to make any changes to their eleven.
62.50: South Africa's win percentage in Twenty20 Internationals. They have the best win percentage among all teams, followed by Pakistan with 62.31. Sri Lanka - the Number 1 ranked team in T20Is - are third with a win percentage of 60.57.
1 and 2: South Africa and Sri Lanka's respective places on the list of highest partnerships for any wicket. Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman's 170-run-stand against England features on the top while Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's 166-run-partnership against West Indies is the second best.
We are giving the young players a chance in this series, because it's the best chance to test them. looking ahead to the World Twenty20 in five months' time. Most probably, even in the next two matches, only two of our experienced players will take the field, so that we can give that place to a young player: Dinesh Chandimal