South Africa have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series © AFP
By R Vishal
Jul 6, 2014
South Africa enjoyed a rare win against Sri Lankan in their home soil when they ran through the Sri Lankan batting order in no time. Sri Lanka were on course to chase down the target at one stage through Kumar Sangakkara’s (88) fighting knock was looking good to take the home team over the line. Apart from the top three of Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sangakkara, neither Sri lankan batsman got an innings of note while all South African bowlers pitched in with telling strikes.
Earlier, Hashim Amla’s silky century along with excellent support from AB de Villiers helped Proteas finish at a commanding 304 for five in 50 overs. On a placid batting wicket, the hosts’ bowlers were unable to make much of an impact and the batsmen made merry. Sri Lankan part time bowlers looked like they got back the initiative, but David Miller and Ryan McLaren’s late blitz took the score beyond 300.
Earlier, Sri Lanka got off to a steady start through Amla and Quinton de Kock, but double strike rocked their boat. In came skipper De Villiers and he played a busy innings at the crease. Amla dropped anchor at this stage and was happy to give the flamboyant De Villiers the major share of the deliveries. Their partnership put the attack to the sword. However, South Africa yet again lost wickets in batches.
Ajantha Mendis took regular breakthroughs despite being expensive. Just when the visitors’ hopes of posting a score over 300 were fading away, David Miller played one of his typical big-hitting innings towards the end. Ryan McLaren lent good support to Miller and they reached 304. Sri Lanka will not be too perturbed as the wicket is excellent for batting and with their know-how, it is gettable on this Premadasa wicket.
South Africa 304 for 5 in 50 overs (Hashim Amla 109, Ab de Villiers 75, David Miller36.; Ajantha Mendis 3 for 61) beat Sri lanka 229 in 40.3 overs (Kusal Perera 34, Tillakaratne Dilshan 40, Kumar Sangakkara 88; Imran Tahir 3 for 50, Ryan McLaren 2 for 33) by 75 runs.
Man of the Match: Hashim Amla
(R Vishal is a journalist and alumnus of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)