Tillakaratne Dilshan continued his love affair with Pallekele © AFP
Tillakaratne Dilshan continued his love affair with Pallekele © AFP

By Shiamak Unwalla

Jul 9, 2014

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.

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.

Soon, even Dilshan was dismissed for 86. Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews were at the crease, and the pair added some quick runs. Jayawardene looked set for a big score, but was bowled through the gate by a Tahir googly. New man Ashan Priyanjan boosted Sri Lanka with some big hits at the death, but was dismissed in the same over as both Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekara. 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, 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.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 267 (Tillakaratne Dilshan 86, Mahela Jayawardene 48; Ryan McLaren 4 for 48) vs South Africa.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)