Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Proteas hard to oppose

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Proteas hard to oppose

Time: 1030, 03/06/2017

Venue: The Oval

Group B gets under way in the ICC Champions Trophy on Saturday, with South Africa expected to brush aside Sri Lanka at The Oval.

The Proteas prevailed 5-0 on home turf when these teams met earlier in the year, and there wasn’t really a close contest in that one-sided series.

Even at short odds of 1/4, it is hard to oppose the favourites in our Sri Lanka vs South Africa betting tips.

The sad truth is that Sri Lanka have slipped a long way downhill since reaching the semi-finals of this competition four years ago.

They were emphatically beaten in this format by both England and Australia last summer and it is hard to see where any significant improvement will come from.

The swashbuckling days of Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Co terrorising bowlers are long gone.

Even a 39-year-old Kumar Sangakkara would appear to offer more of a threat than the current top order judged on his recent exploits for Surrey.

Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews, if fit, provide some experience, while Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella have shown promise, but the prevailing conditions are unlikely to suit.

In the bowling department, Lasith Malinga is a longshot to roll back the years, despite some encouraging signs in the IPL, and Sri Lanka’s fielding invariably leaves much to be desired.

South Africa made good progress throughout their warm-up games against England, culminating in a convincing victory at Lord’s.

The Proteas currently have four batsmen ranked in the world’s top 10, while Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir are first and second in the list of ODI bowlers, so this looks a mismatch on paper.

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