Sri Lanka opted to bowl in the World Cup warm-up against South Africa in Cardiff. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne felt that there would be some assistance for his seamers early on, while Faf du Plessis was happy to have a bat.
Although both teams are allowed to field all 15 members of the squad, Sri Lanka were a player short, with Lasith Malinga yet to join the squad. South Africa, too, were resting Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn.Sri Lanka were coming off a convincing win over Scotland by 35 runs (D/L method) at Edinburgh. Karunaratne, who was playing his first ODI in over four years, quelled some of the doubts about his left-field selection as captain for the World Cup with an 88-ball 77, and Nuwan Pradeep, who had missed the tours of Australia and South Africa due to injury also returned to the side with a four-for.