Isuru Udana only bright spark for Sri Lanka on South Africa tour | Sunday Observer

Isuru Udana only bright spark for Sri Lanka on South Africa tour

Isuru Udana
Isuru Udana

With nothing left to go by on what has been a miserable five-match ODI series and another wretched T20 show, Sri Lanka is likely to throw in batsman Sadeera Samarawickrema and allrounder Asitha Fernando for today’s sign-off T20 match against South Africa.

Samarawickrema and Fernando are the only two players who have not being part of the losing team in both the ODI and three-match T20 series which South Africa currently leads 2-0 and aiming for a 3-0 series sweep.

The South Africans despite leaving out their best two players Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were strong enough to beat Sri Lanka in the first two T20 games.

The team was led by JP Duminy and had only David Miller as the other experienced batsman in the side. The two delivered in both games and are expected to play key roles in today’s match as well.

In the first T20 match Sri Lanka were let down by their poor batting and in the second game both the batsmen and bowlers failed miserably except for Isuru Udana who was selected as a bowler but is delivering as a batsman.

The way Udana has been striking the ball in the limited over games has put the rest of the Sri Lankan batting in the shade. Hailing from a village in Balangoda, Udana has been the best thing that has come out of the tour of South Africa by way of individuals.

Sri Lanka’s main worry in the batting is finding a suitable opening pair while their bowlers have never troubled the South African batsmen.

Thisara Perera has been living up to his image as one of the most inconsistent players and is yet to make a contribution with his bat which is not fair by all other batsmen who have not been selected.

Angelo Perera was taken to South Africa in rousing form but he languished for one month without a match and it is clearly visible that he is nowhere near the form he showed when he hammered two history-making double hundreds in a Sri Lanka club match.

Had Kusal Perera not been sidelined due to injury, Angelo Perera would never have been selected in accordance with a system that is followed by the selectors of not taking chances.

True South Africa were stretched into a super over in the first game after chasing a target of 135. But their batting collapse was more due to some silly run-outs and debatable shot selection.

Lasith Malinga has not been delivering in a way the batsmen can be put under pressure indicating he is past his prime and only in the team because Sri Lanka has lost most of its young front-line bowlers due o injury.

Spin bowler Akila Dhananjaya is now merely making up the numbers having lost his wicket-taking potential ever since he was declared a chucker (throwing the ball instead of bowling) and ordered to change his action.

If he gets wickets it is attributed more to batsmen error than his modified skills.

South Africa:1 Aiden Markram, 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 JP Duminy(capt), 5 David Miller, 6 Sinethemba Qeshile (wk), 7 Chris Morris, 8 DwainePretorius, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Lutho Sipamla, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

SriLanka: 1 Niroshan Dickwella, 2 SadeeraSamarawickrama, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Kamindu Mendis, 5 Angelo Perera, 6 ThisaraPerera, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Akila Dananjaya, 10 LasithMalinga, 11 Jeffrey Vandersay/Asitha Fernando