Morne Morkel and AB de Villiers.
South Africa's Morne Morkel celebrates with captain AB de Villiers in first ODI against Sri Lanka.Reuters

After being jolted in the series opener, Sri Lanka will face South Africa in a must-win second one-dayer at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

The home side lost the first match by 75 runs as the Proteas seamers bundled the hosts for just 229, with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Ryan McLaren picking two wickets each. Hashim Amla scored a fine century and anchored the innings, while skipper AB de Villiers ended with a well-compiled fifty.

The Lankan Lions, in the series opener, never managed to build a decent partnership and their middle-order collapsed against leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Opener Kusal Perera's form is also under scrutiny as he has failed to stamp his mark as a second opener.

He had played some match-turning innings for Sri Lanka in the past, but there are question marks over his consistency. Middle-order batsman Ashan Priyanjan also failed in the first match but he has shown enough glimpses of promise to gain captain's trust.

Skipper Angelo Mathews, despite failing to chase down the target in the last match, is reluctant to make any major changes in the playing XI for the forthcoming encounter.

"We don't need to panic," Mathews said. "It's just one game and we played poorly. We can turn things around if we play better cricket than this. We don't need to panic or make major changes. Making changes shows the opposition that we are panicking. We just need to pull our socks up and try and perform better."

Mathews insisted he is not going to make too many tweaks to the batting order, with veteran Mahela Jayawardene set to play in his normal position. There were suggestions Jayawardene could open the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan.

This will allow vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne to move up the order and allow one of their best batsmen in Jayawardene to play as many balls as possible. But Mathews rejected any such suggestions.

"I don't think we are that desperate to open with Mahela because his experience in the middle order counts a lot," the Lankan skipper said. "We need someone like Mahela to try and control the middle order. Kusal has been doing pretty well up there, and he played a good knock on Sunday."

"Unfortunately he couldn't carry on. Mahela will play at No.4 but in an emergency, he might play as an opener or at No.3. We've got a set batting order and we're not going to meddle with that."

Expected Line-ups: Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers , JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Where to Watch Live

The first ODI is scheduled for 2:30 pm local (2:30 pm IST, 9:00 am GMT) start with live coverage on Ten Cricket and Ten HD in India. Catch ball-by-ball update of the match online HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Ten Sports in Sri Lanka, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE.

Viewers in the US can watch the game Live on Willow TV while the action can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport and live online HERE.

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