Sri Lanka in SA

AB expects high-scoring clash

2012-01-16 22:03
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Proteas have set their sights firmly on claiming a series victory over Sri Lanka ahead of the third One-Day International (ODI) taking place at Chevrolet Park in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

South Africa hold a 2-0 advantage in the five-match series, and if victory is achieved, it will be the first time in nearly 20 years that a series triumph is achieved in the city of roses.

“It’s important for us to win the series, that is our first aim,” said De Villiers.

“A win would help with my self-confidence as captain, it’s a very big game for us, we are not taking it lightly. There are a few guys sitting out but there are also new exciting players and I think the foundation of the squad is still intact and everything looks good.” 

Alviro Peterson, Colin Ingram and Vernon Philander will bring the excitement that De Villiers alluded to, as Gary Kirsten and the selectors look to try out possible combinations ahead of a long and busy season.

“There is a massive tour of New Zealand coming up, and it was important for us to try a few combinations. The boys coming into the side are not unknown; it’s very exciting for us and I hope they do really well.”

For now, the focus is Sri Lanka, who can still make a comeback in the series. A fast high-scoring match is anticipated in Tuesday’s day-night encounter, where the average first innings score is around 250 runs in international matches. 

South Africa scored a mammoth 351 for 6 in their previous match at the ground against Zimbabwe in 2010, an innings that was highlight by debutant centurion Colin Ingram as well as Hashim Amla.

“I think it’s going to be a high scoring game, I’m expecting a bit more runs here. Bloemfontein always comes up with a good wicket, hopefully there will be a bit more bounce, it looks well prepared but once again you can only tell on the day. Once we get a few overs in we’ll adapt as quickly a possible," said De Villiers.

If they play, it will be a sentimental match for Robin Peterson and Morne Morkel, as it will be their 50th ODI cap for South Africa. A win will also mark a special achievement for De Villiers, as he guns for his maiden ODI series victory as captain.

“We haven’t won a one-day series for almost a year and it would mean a lot to me to win it in my first series as captain.”

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