Sri Lanka go off against seasoned South Africa
South Africa finally have seemed to come into terms with Sri Lankan conditions as they thrashed the hosts by 4 wickets in Dambulla on Wednesday(1)National Cricket
Sri Lanka just about scraped themselves up-to 244/8 in the 2nd ODI, but their effort in the field was demoralizing to watch for any Sri Lankan.
The hosts made two changes to their side which lost the first ODI by 5 wickets, handing debuts to fast bowler Kasun Rajitha and left-arm spinner Prabath Jayasuriya, in place of the injured Lahiru Kumara and chinaman Lakshan Sandakan in a bid to square the series, as skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss and elected to bat first.
Kumara split the webbing on his left-hand during training on Monday night while Sandakan was expensive in the first match, conceding 74 runs in 8 overs.
It felt like it was a repeat of the 1st ODI when Upul Tharanga and Kusal
Mendis fell off consecutive balls against Lungi Ngidi, but the two stylish left-handers Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Perera got the innings back on track, to a certain extent at least. Kusal Perera wasn’t striking the ball as well as the 1st ODI. He mishit a pull shot against Andile Phehlukwayo to be caught at mid-on to end an entertaining partnership of 43 runs.
Another useful stand came for the 4th wicket for the hosts. This time it was captain Mathews along with Dickwella, who went on to make 69 runs which included 10 fours. When Dickwella dragged one on to his stumps off Phehlukwayo and Shehan
Jayasuirya (18) was strangled down the leg off Willem Mulder, Sri Lanka were looking down the barrel once again.
Thisara Perera hung around for a quick-fire 19 as Mathews brought up his 36th ODI half century, but the skipper hardly got any support from the other end as most batsmen came and went.
Akila Dananjaya and Suranga
Lakmal too didn’t last long with South African seamers taking control of the latter part of the Sri Lankan innings. A boundary was very hard to come by in the last 5 overs for the hosts before debutant Prabath Jayasuriya went down on one knee to paddle sweep Phehlukwayo for a boundary off the final ball of the penultimate over.
Sri Lanka eventually got to 244/8 which seemed a respectable total on a sticky surface and it was their skipper Angelo Mathews who stood tall with a superb unbeaten 79*.
For South Africa, their seamers picked up all wickets to fall with Ngidi and Phehlukwayo
being the standouts picking up 3 wickets apiece.
South Africa got off to a rollicking start, but it was more to do with some horrendous fielding by the hosts. Both Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were given lives as they put on 91 runs for the first wicket.
Kasun Rajitha on debut was denied his maiden scalp not just once, but twice. De Kock was spilled by Akila Dananjaya and Amla by Kusal Perera off Rajitha on both occasions.
To add to the drop catches, it was hard to find a Sri Lankan fielder on the park who didn’t misfield a ball. It was as if someone had asked them to put their hands in oil before they came out to field.
However, the hosts did manage to strike a couple of quick blows through Dananjaya but it was always an uphill task with not many runs on the board.
Amla made 43 and skipper Faf du Plessis hit a quick-fire 49, but it was De Kock who stole the show with a 78 ball 87. His knock included 13 fours and one towering six.
Dananjaya returned to dismiss Du Plessis but it was all too little too late for the hosts as South Africa cruised home by 4 wickets and more than 7 overs to spare.
It was another dominating performance by the visitors following their thrashing in the 1st ODI, as they seem a settled white ball unit in contrast to the Sri Lankans who look out of sorts at the moment.
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