Today’s Prediction: Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test
Sri Lanka 338/10 & 275/5 – 124/10 & 290/10 South Africa
3.32 – 3.45
Sri Lanka won by 199 runs
As the South African squad landed in Sri Lanka on the back of a ruthless series victory against a well-balanced Australian team, many expected them to dole out similar punishment to Sri Lanka, a team that was recovering from a Test defeat at the hands of West Indies.
This is possibly the final Sri Lanka tour for veterans like Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Dale Steyn, and the South Africans were supposed to carve out a legacy in the subcontinent for one last time in their careers.
What ensued, however, was beyond the imaginations of cricket lovers across the world. Not only were South Africa defeated, but they were also utterly humiliated by the opposition who shot them out for their lowest total since readmission.
In a match that witnessed several records being broken and equaled, Lankan spinner Rangana Herath climbed onto the ninth position in the all-time wicket-taker’s list. Ironically, Dale Steyn, who equaled Shaun Pollock’s 421 Test scalps at Galle, follows him at tenth. The Proteas will need him to fire alongside speedster Kagiso Rabada in the second Test, if they are to salvage anything at all from this series.
Not that the Sri Lankans have been in fine form with the bat. Besides opener Dimuth Karunaratne, who aggregated 218 runs across two innings, none of the Lankan batsmen have found form.
Unless this changes, Lankan captain Suranga Lakmal will have to deal with a lot of pressure in the bowling department.
The scenario in the South African dressing room is worse. None of their players had even registered a fifty in the last Test. Poor shot selection along with a clueless approach against spin have made things difficult. Amla’s lean patch and AB de Villiers’ retirement haven’t helped either.
The likes of Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock make up a talented, even if slightly inexperienced, bunch whose promise of thriving in difficult circumstances have led them into the national team. It is now time for them to stand up and be counted.
The only positive for the Proteas has been the fine form of Rabada who scalped 4/50 and 3/44 in the two innings, and is looking good despite the lack of support at the other end. Keshav Maharaj spun the Sri Lankan middle-order out in the second innings after going wicketless in the first, and also turned out to be the most economical among his teammates.
As for the Sri Lankans, Herath’s legspin and Dilruwan Perera’s off-spin have been major boosts, and with the conditions expected to remain spinner friendly at Colombo, the duo may once again prove to be a handful for the visitors.
The departure of left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi may open the doors for uncapped leggie Shaun von Berg at Colombo, with the rest of the South African team remaining the same. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, is expected to field the same playing XI from the last match.
Prediction to Win the Match – Sri Lanka vs South Africa
Although South Africa have enough players to help them bounce back, we are backing Sri Lanka to cut out yet another easy victory and seal the series.
Bet365 predicts a Sri Lankan victory at 2.15 as opposed to a South African victory at 2.75. Betway are more lenient with the predictions for the home side at 2.20 and against them at 2.63. SpinPalace predicts steeper values at 2.10 for a Lankan win and 2.70 for a South African win. The odds of a draw on these three sites are 4.33, 4.00 and 4.20 respectively. Bet365 further predicts the highest Sri Lankan score in the 1st innings to be scored by Karunaratne (3/1). Given his form, that is hardly a surprise.
We also recommend placing a bet on Herath receiving the Man of the Match award (7/1) at Colombo.
Expected Playing XI (Sri Lanka): Danushka Gunathilaka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan
Expected Playing XI (South Africa): Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Shaun von Berg
- Date: July 20, 2018
- Time: 10:00 AM (local) / 10:00 AM (IST)
- Venue: Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo