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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Sri Lanka bat with fit Kusal Perera; van der Dussen replaces Miller for South Africa

File photo: Kusal Perera was back to open the batting © Associated Press

Toss Sri Lanka chose to bat vs South Africa

Kusal Perera makes his return to international cricket after recovering from Covid-19 and will open the batting after Dasun Shanaka opted to bat.

Kusal tested positive for Covid last month and was included in Sri Lanka’s squad for the ODIs against South Africa but only received medical clearance to play from this match. He also missed out on the home series against India in July, with a shoulder injury. Avishka Fernando, Sri Lanka’s second highest run-scorer from the ODIs, was left out to make room for Kusal.

Sri Lanka also made a change to their attack and left out Akila Dananjaya, who had an off night in the first T20I, for Praveen Jayawickrama. They stuck to a three-spin, two-seam attack, which was also South Africa’s composition on a surface expected to suit slower bowling. Conditions also suggest that the team batting first has the advantage, with run-scoring expected to be tougher as the match goes on.

South Africa’s only change came in the top five, where David Miller was forced out because of a thigh strain. Rassie van der Dussen, who sat out on Friday with a hamstring niggle, came into the team.

Sri Lanka: 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Praveen Jayawickrama

South Africa: 1 Reeza Hendricks, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk) 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Heinrich Klaasen, 5 Rassie van der Dussen, 6 Dwaine Pretorius, 7 Keshav Maharaj (capt), 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Bjorn Fortuin, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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