When Sri Lanka whitewashed South Africa 2-0 in the Test series, it sparked talks about a revival in the nation’s cricket that has been undergoing tough times since the 2015 World Cup. There was talk about Sri Lanka becoming a serious threat for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which will be played in England. However, the Proteas roared back in the ODIs and Sri Lanka once again fell back into the abyss. Victory in the first four ODIs by eight wickets, 113 runs, 71 runs and six wickets gave South Africa the ultimate confidence and heading into the final game in Newlands, they were gunning for a clean sweep again.
Sri Lanka chose to bat and they lost three quick wickets before Kusal Mendis steadied the ship with Angelo Perera as the duo shared a 62-run stand. Mendis slammed a fifty but Sri Lanka collapsed yet again in the middle overs but Isuru Udana (32) and Priyamal Perera (33) helped Sri Lanka get to 225. In response, Quinton de Kock fell cheaply but Aiden Markram slammed an aggressive fifty and at 135/2 in the 28th over, they were on course. However, a floodlight failure for close to two hours resulted in the game being called off and South Africa achieved a 5-0 whitewash with a 41-run win.
This was the second consecutive 5-0 whitewash for Sri Lanka in bilateral ODI series in South Africa. They were whitewashed 5-0 in the 2016/17 series as well but in that series, they were swept 3-0 in the Tests but they won the Twenty20 Internationals.
This was Sri Lanka’s fourth 5-0 whitewash in bilateral ODI series since the end of the 2015 World Cup. Overall, they have been whitewashed 5-0 five times, with the 2014 series against India in India being the first instance in their ODI career. In the 2017 series against India, they were whitewashed 5-0 as Virat Kohli’s team achieved the ‘tour-wash’, winning the three-Test series 3-0 and the one-off ODI.
The next whitewash was against Pakistan in the series in the UAE in 2017/18. They had won the two-Test series, inflicting a series loss for the first time against Pakistan in their adopted home of the UAE after 15 years but they were hammered in the ODIs which followed. Ever since the end of the World Cup in 2015, Sri Lanka have lost 55 out of 84 ODIs played with only 23 wins. They had lost a series to Zimbabwe in 2017 which forced Angelo Mathews to step down. In the last 13 ODIs, Sri Lanka have won just once and this result will hit their World Cup hopes really hard.