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Lasith Malinga takes two as South Africa make slow progress against Sri Lanka in chase of 268

Imran Tahir (right) took three wickets earlier in the day © AFP
Imran Tahir (right) took three wickets earlier in the day © AFP

Jul 9, 2014

South Africa got off to a slow start in their chase of 268 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele after Angelo Mathews and Ashan Priyanjan staged an assault, but Ryan McLaren struck repeatedly at the death in the second One-Day International (ODI) between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Pallekele after Tillakaratne Dilshan got Sri Lanka off to a flier early on. Sri Lanka could have got much more than the 267 they finished with, but McLaren took four wickets in seven balls to halt their progress.

Quinton de Kock was the first one to go, cleaned up by Lasith Malinga for four. Hashim Amla was in pristine form at the other end, even as veteran Jacques Kallis edged to Kumar Sangakkara for one off Malinga. New man AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla ensured that there were no further hiccups, as South Africa looked secure at 66 for two in 13 overs.

Earlier, Sri Lanka got off to a good start, but Dale Steyn injured his hand while fielding off his own bowling, going off the field just 2.2 overs into his spell in the process. Dilshan made his intentions clear very early on, hitting Steyn down the ground for four in the first over of the match. He followed it up with two more boundaries in his next over.

Vernon Philander broke through with the wicket of Kusal Perera in the next over, and Kumar Sangakkara suffered a rare failure as well, getting cramped for room while going for a pull shot against Morne Morkel. Lahiru Thirimanne was the new man in for Sri Lanka. After a period of quiet play, Sri Lanka were soon on their way again, as Thirimanne started scoring boundaries to make up for his slow start. However, just as he  started looking good, he holed out to Hashim Amla in the deep off the bowling of Imran Tahir.

Rain soon stopped play, albeit briefly with Sri Lanka’s score on 257 for eight at the start of the 48th over. In the end, they were left perhaps 20 runs short of what they would have been happy with.

Earlier, Sri Lanka had won  the toss and elected to bat first. Both teams were unchanged, as Sri Lanka were searching for a win to stay alive in this series. Dilshan’s affinity for Pallekele came through again, as he averages over 90 in ODIs at the venue.

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