The Proteas are involved in the first ICC Champions Trophy Group B match when they come up against Sri Lanka at Kennington Oval in London on Saturday.
The Proteas are favourites in the current betting to top Group B which also includes India and Pakistan whilst Saturday’s opponents Sri Lanka are the outsiders. The top two teams progress to the semi finals and depending on how competitive the other games are, it is possible that just one defeat in the group stage can lead to an early exit.
With two supposedly tougher games to come the Proteas need a solid start and there is plenty of encouragement they can find it from recent head to history. When Sri Lanka last toured South Africa the ODI’s came in January and February this year and the Proteas delivered a clean sweep, winning all five contests and as you can see from the results below, Sri Lanka were outplayed.
5th ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion, South Africa won by 88 runs
4th ODI, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa won by 40 runs
3rd ODI, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa won by 7 wkts
2nd ODI, Kingsmead, Durban, South Africa won by 121 runs
1st ODI, St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, South Africa won by 8 wkts
After winning the final leg of their three match series against England at Lords on Monday in very convincing fashion, the South African camp should be confident that they can reproduce the sort of form that also saw them hammer Australia 5-0 last year and win 3-2 in New Zealand earlier in 2017. Meanwhile Sri Lanka haven’t played too much ODI cricket since the whitewash in South Africa, they did draw 1-1 at home to Bangladesh but a number of their players have yet to deliver on a regular basis.
Sri Lanka Squad: Angelo Mathews(c), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna
South Africa Squad: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel
Betting – Click here for all markets
Sri Lanka 28/10
South Africa 2/7
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change
Suggested Bet: Pre Match Handicap, South Africa -4.5 Wkts / -20.5 Runs at 7/10
South Africa ought to make a winning start and on form they should also have enough to cover the pre-match handicap