AB de Villiers-led tournament favorites South Africa will take on the underdogs Sri Lanka in what, on paper looks like a cake walk for the number 1 ranked Proteas, in the third match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Saturday (June 3). [বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ দক্ষিণ আফ্রিকার মুখোমুখি শ্রীলঙ্কা]
This match will be the first game from Group-B, and will take place at The Oval in London, with the start time as usual being 3.30pm BdST. GTV, Maasranga and the Star Sports Network will air the match live, while the official online streaming will be available on hotstar.
Angelo Mathews, who has been out of international action since January this year due to injury, is likely to miss this as well for the depleted Sri Lanka side. He underwent a fitness test on Friday afternoon and he will be assessed again before Saturday’s clash at the Oval.
Upul Tharanga will most likely lead the side in Mathews absence if he was to miss the opening clash.
Beaten 5-0 by the Proteas earlier in the year, Sri Lanka start the match as underdogs and in need big performances from the likes of pacemen Lasith Malinga and all-rounder Thisara Perera.
For Sri Lanka, the middle order will need to fire. The first game between England & Bangladesh showed you need to make a score of minimum 320 to be competitive. The top order can’t be too cautious early on. Sri Lanka’s pace attack will need to fire against a world class side.
For South Africa, constant attacking bowling will keep Sri Lanka in trouble. I suspect the short ball and a variation of pace will be the key weapons in the bowling attack. South Africa’s bowling side sets themselves apart from all other teams in the tournament. De Kock & Amla early on will set the platform for a big total.
The Oval surface is not expected to be quite as batting-friendly as it was for the tournament opener between England and Bangladesh, but it’s unlikely to suddenly become a bowlers’ fantasy either. The weather is forecast to be cloudy but dry in London – the temperature hovering around the 20-degree mark.
South Africa (possible): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Hashim Amla, 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 AB de Villiers (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 David Miller, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Wayne Parnell/Morne Morkel, 9 Andile Phehlukwayo, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Upul Tharanga (capt), 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Asela Gunaratne, 6 Chamara Kapugedara, 7 Kusal Perera, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lakshan Sandakan, 11 Lasith Malinga
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com