Sri Lanka will play for pride once again when they take on South Africa in the fifth ODI at Colombo on Sunday. Sri Lanka pulled things back in the fourth ODI as they won the match by 3 runs. A 3-2 loss is always better than a 4-1 loss.
And Sri Lanka would go all guns blazing to do so. South Africa would come hard at Sri Lanka after suffering a narrow loss in the fourth ODI. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths, weaknesses of South Africa, Sri Lanka and match prediction of the fifth ODI at Colombo on Sunday.
Sri Lanka strengths
Sri Lanka showed they would not go down fighting and put up a brave show in the fourth ODI. They eked out a win by 3 runs in the fourth ODI and would look to finish off the ODI series on a high with another win in the fifth ODI. What was heartwarming for Sri Lankan fans was the lower-order resistance to pile up a big score. Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanka made valiant fifties to help Sri Lanka post a big total of 306/7 in 39 overs in the fourth ODI. The two posted 109-run stand for the seventh wicket in 11.1 overs. The bowlers and fielders then put up strong resistance to thwart South Africa’s bid for a win.
Sri Lanka weaknesses
Sri Lanka are unpredictable as they can be ruthless in one game and mediocre in the next. After three straight defeat in the ODI series, they managed to pull it back in the fourth ODI, winning it by three runs. But can they produce the same competitive spirit in the next game. It’s highly doubtful.
South Africa strengths
Strong all-round unit
South Africa are blessed with all-round talent in both batting and bowling. They have Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock in their batting line-up. They also have a strong bowling attack in K Rabada, Lungi Ngidi who can destroy any attack on their day. They also have quality spinners in Keshav Maharaj and JP Duminy who can tilt the balance in the team’s favour. The loss in fourth ODI was just a one-off thing and the Proteas would look to bounce back in the fifth ODI and seal a 4-1 win.
South Africa weaknesses
If South Africa wish to make a strong bid for 2019 Cricket World Cup, then they will have to be ruthless in this format. They cannot let opposition to bounce back in matches and give them an escape route. South Africa would have to fight it hard against a rejuvenated Sri Lanka in the fifth ODI.
Prediction: The win in fourth ODI would have given a new lifeline to Sri Lanka who would go all out to bag another match to make it 3-2 series loss. South Africa, however, would like to end it as 4-1 win. Our vote goes to South Africa.
Possible winner: South Africa