Newlands Stadium in Cape Town plays hosts for the first encounter of the three-match T20 International series between the home side South Africa and Sri Lanka. The game is scheduled to start at 2.00 pm (CAT).
Importance of the T20I Series
Both the Proteas and Sri Lanka management are already focusing and planning for the T20 World Cup next year as they have made a couple of changes to their sides and using the 2019 campaign to prepare, improve their T20 skills, blood youngsters and also try new combinations.
This T20 series will be more of an experiment for Sri Lanka as they made eight changes to the team that traveled to the first ever standalone Women’s T20 Cup in the Caribbean last November while the Proteas made four changes as they look to fix their batting problems.
Dané van Niekerk, the captain
A consistent performer for her side over the years. One of the best all-rounders’ around. Van Niekerk has a good record against Sri Lanka as she was the leading wicket-taker (4 wickets in 3 games) and also scored the most runs (107 in 3 games) in the T20 series when the visitors played host to South Africa in the 2014/15 season. A captain that plays a vital role with both bat and bowl and lead also leads from the front, very vocal and confident.
Shashikala Siriwardene, the all-rounder
The last time Sri Lanka toured South Africa; Siriwardene was the captain and had a wonderful tour. She took the most wickets (7 wickets in 3 games) and was second on the list of leading run scorers (70 runs in 3 games) in the T20 series. Siriwardene also had a good T20 World Cup and T20 series against India in 2018 with both bat and ball. The veteran player is a consistent performer and very familiar with South African conditions.
The experienced all-rounder with over 68 T20 internationals will play a key role along with Captain Chamari Atapattu if the young and inexperienced Sri Lankan side is to give the hosts a run for their money.
- The Proteas made light work of Sri Lanka the last time the two sides met. South Africa won by 7 wickets in the T20 World Cup 2018.
- Sri Lanka tour of South Africa during the 2013/14 season saw the hosts win the three-match T20 series 2-1 with the visitors putting up a fight.
- In 2014/15 season, South Africa tour of Sri Lanka. The host won the first T20 game but the Proteas comeback strong to win the final two matches sealing a 2-1 victory.
Form-Last Four Games
Proteas: W L L W
Sri Lanka: L L W L
You can expect to see two or three changes in the Proteas batting line up with Tazmin Brits, Saarah Smith or Faye Tunnicliffe (wicket-keeper) to come in while Sri Lanka might give 21-year-old left arm pace Tharika Sewwandi her first international cricket cap as the conditions in South Africa are usually friendly to quick bowlers.
The Proteas will be without their star T20 player and vice-captain Chloe Tryon who has been ruled out of the T20 series after the reoccurrence of a groin injury. A big blow for the hosts but also an opportunity for Suné Luus who has been recalled to the team to replace Tryon after she was dropped due to a number of poor performances. The big-hitting Tryon might recover just in time for the ODI series starting on 11 February in Potchefstroom.
South Africa: Dané van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Lizelle Lee, Tazmin Brits, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Saarah Smith, Tumi Sekhukhune, Zintle Mali, Faye Tunnicliffe (wicket-keeper), Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk.
Sri Lanka: Chamari Atapattu (c), Prasadani Weerakkody, Anushka Sanjeewani, Tharika Sewwandi, Hasini Perera, Imalka Mendis, Harshitha Samarawickrema, Shashikala Siriwardena, Nilakshi De Silva, Umesha Thimashini (Subject to fitness), Kaveesha Dilhari, Achini Kulasooriya, Udeshika Probodani, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe