Sri Lanka suffered a big blow even before the start of the game, as Upul Tharanga came out at the time of the toss, which was enough to tell that Angelo Matthews has been ruled out because of an injury.
The stand-in captain, however, got the first advantage by winning the toss and he had no hesitation to bowl first. Lasith Malinga was back in the Lankan playing ODI side after a period of 18 months, which was a big confidence booster for them.
AB de Villiers, the South African captain also wanted to bowl first but had no choice. Surprisingly, they went for an experience and included Morne Morkel to the side, whose chances looked bleak and slim ahead of the game.
As de Villiers indicated in the pre-match press conference, fit again David Miller made his back to the side along with Imran Tahir, after the latter was rested for Keshav Maharaj in the last two ODIs against England.
De Villiers was happy with the fact they have a strong batting line-up and reckoned they are concentrating on this particular game at the moment, rather thinking of winning the trophy. Unlike yesterday (June 2nd), a full contest is expected here at the Kennington Oval.
Here is what both the captains said at the time of the toss-
AB de Villiers: ‘We were bowling first as well, but we are confident about our abilities – we are well prepared, we found our rhythm towards the end of the ODI series against England, this is a fresh tournament and we are looking forward to it. We have cut all the basics and raring to go. We are playing Morne Morkel, David Miller and Imran Tahir are back as well. We have a balanced unit with a pretty long batting line-up, even number 10 can bat. We are not thinking of winning the trophy as of now, just want to win each and every game, take small steps at a time.
Upul Tharanga: We will bowl first, overcast conditions – there might be some help early on. Hopefully, Mathews will be ready for the next game. The management has faith in me, hopefully, I will live up to expectations. Three seamers for us, Lasith Malinga is back and that gives us confidence. We are going into the game as underdogs which is good for us.
Here si the playing XI of both the teams –
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Upul Tharanga(c), Niroshan Dickwella(w), Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga.
South Africa (Playing XI): Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.
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June 3, 2017 at 08:33AM