JOHANNESBURG -  February 4 is an important day in the South African cricket calendar, with the Wanderers as well as the home team players decked out in pink to raise awareness about breast cancer. On the day, Saturday, South Africa will hope to add to the occasion by sealing a series win in the third of five One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka after having won the first two games.

It will also be a big day for Faf du Plessis, who will be playing his 100th ODI. His 105, along with David Miller's 117 not out, helped South Africa post 307 for 6 in the second game on Wednesday before the bowlers knocked Sri Lanka over for 186 to complete a 121-run win.

While Miller has been ruled out of the rest of the series with a finger injury sustained in the match while fielding, du Plessis could very well add to his tally of seven ODI centuries if Sri Lanka fails to rein him in. “Hopefully the same thing can happen,” said du Plessis on a possible encore on the eve of the third game. “It's a great honour to be playing your 100th game. I'm really excited about that. And Pink Day makes it even more special."

The first two ODIs were played on slowish pitches, more suited to Sri Lanka’s style, but the South African bowlers stood out more than that of the visiting side. Imran Tahir, the No. 1 spinner in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings, has been especially impressive, among the wickets and economical to boot.

What has helped South Africa is that its fielders have backed its bowlers to the hilt. In the second game, du Plessis took a stunning, one-handed running catch to dismiss Niroshan Dickwella, while AB de Villiers, the captain, followed that up by taking a brilliant catch running backwards to get rid of Upul Tharanga. On the other hand, Sri Lanka was guilty of dropping three catches earlier in the day, including two to reprieve du Plessis and Miller, the two centurions.

“We are very lucky. Your fielding strength is dependent on the personnel you have. If you look at the guys in the ring – they are all brilliant fielders,” said du Plessis. “There's not any fielder in the ring that's a bowler. It's all quality fielders, who field at point or cover for the different franchises. We've got the right personnel and with that you can obviously make sure you train hard and then you can change games with them.”

Sri Lanka isn’t as blessed as South Africa in the fielding department anyway, and the side's inexperience has been exposed with Angelo Mathews not available for the series. Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva are playing in South Africa for the first time ever, and Graham Ford, the Sri Lanka coach, said the series was being treated as a learning opportunity. “For some of the guys, it's a bit of a jolt to come and see how tough it is to play in foreign conditions and to play in South Africa,” explained Ford. “From that point of view, it's got to be a learning opportunity.”

 If we are realistic and we look at the players we've got and the ages and the amount of games they have played, it is about learning and it is about improving. At times we've shown improvement, at times I have hoped for more improvement.”

Ford and his wards might have to temper those expectations on Saturday, though. Pink is definitely South Africa's colour if its 100% record in the past four such fixtures is anything to go by, and Sri Lanka will have it rough if it doesn’t bring its A game to the field.

Teams (from)

SOUTH AFRICA: AB de Villiers (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Farhaan Behardien, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi.

SRI LANKA: Upul Tharanga (capt), Niroshan Dickwella, Sandun Weerakkody, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Nuwal Kulasekara, Jeffrey Vandersay, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Chaturanga de Silva, Thikshila de Silva, Lahiru Madushanka, Sachith Pathirana, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna.