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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Sri Lanka seek batting revival to turn series around


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South Africa will fancy themselves a sixth straight win in T20Is

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If you have followed Sri Lanka’s T20 cricket over the past two years, Friday’s turn of events may have seemed familiar. Faced with a challenging target, Sri Lanka’s batters failed to ever get themselves in a good position, struggling to find boundaries while the powerplay was in operation, then later, failing to pierce gaps, or even rotate the strike, as the required rate rose sharply. The one batter who did succeed did so too slowly to really give the team a chance, and the batters around him, who in a more functional side would have played more explosive innings around him, barely got themselves to double figures.

South Africa, bolstered by the return of Quinton de Kock and David Miller, racked up their fifth T20I victory in succession, and against a batting order that is struggling for firepower, will fancy themselves a sixth straight win. With Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, and now de Kock and Reeza Hendricks all having produced good innings on this Sri Lanka trip, their top five is in excellent shape. Their bowling was so effective, they only needed two overs from Tabraiz Shamsi – the top-ranked T20I bowler on the planet.

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