Sri Lanka registered a crucial 14-run win over South Africa in the first game of the three-match ODI series at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium on Thursday as the bowlers held their nerve to defend 300 runs after Avishka Fernando’s 118 and Charith Asalanka’s 72 set up a record-breaking chase for the visitors.
Reporting from Khettarama
After Sri Lanka opted to bat first, 23-year old Avisha Fernando struck his third ODI century – 118 runs off 115 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes to register the highest score by a Sri Lankan opening batsman against South Africa at home in ODIs. Charith Asalanka made a brisk 62-ball 72 with 6 fours and 1 six to power Sri Lanka to 300.
Having reached his milestone of 50 in 74 balls, Fernando took only 32 balls for his next fifty runs. He ran 51 singles and plenty of twos and threes showing encouraging signs of his improved fitness levels.
The two Lankan openers – Fernando and Minod Bhanuka went unscathed in the first powerplay, adding 50 runs. However as the spinners came on, the scoring rate started to dip. Bhanuka gave away the good start by trying to slog-sweep part-time off-spinner Aiden Markram and castling himself for 27 ending a 57-run opening stand.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, batting at number three, attempted to get off strike by going over the top against Keshav Maharaj but managed only to find the safe hands of Kyle Verreyanne at deep mid-wicket.
After being 58 for 2, Fernando and Dhananjaya De Silva added 79 runs off 109 deliveries for the third wicket to stabilize the innings. There was a short rain interruption but it didn’t affect the game. De Silva gave two chances on 30 and 33 during his 61-ball 44 before being neatly stumped by Heinrich Klassen as Maharaj ended his 10-over quota with 2 for 30.
Despite the Proteas spinners controlling the scoring-rate with tight bowling, the seamers were a tad short in their length on which the hosts pounced on brilliantly. Fernando and Asalanka added 97 runs in 73 balls for the 4th wicket which was the most successful phase for the hosts.
Asalanka, coming in at number five in his 6th match, batted with great composure to record his highest ODI score. He played the second fiddle to Fernando early on and then pressed the accelerator after the dismissal of the centurion, who was undone by Tabraiz Shamsi while looking for big shots.
Sri Lanka’s middle order aggressors – Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga could not contribute much but Asalanka’s 2nd ODI half-century helped the home team muster 90 runs in the last 10 overs.
Chasing 301 runs to win, Jaaneman Malan and Aiden Markram came out with a clear plan on going hard against the Lankan seamers. Wanindu Hasaranga was brought into the attack inside the first powerplay and trapped Malan plumb in front with a wrong’un.
Markram and skipper Temba Bavuma batted with utmost confidence and authority to steer the chase. Markram used his feet well and played some beautiful strokes to unsettle the Lankan spinners. Against the run of play, Bavuma had to retire hurt on 38 after a throw struck on his hand, opening the doors for the hosts.
Markram on the verge of his maiden ODI hundred was dismissed by Praveen Jayawickrama as Wanindu Hasaranga held onto a brilliant, diving catch at deep extra cover. Markram’s 90-ball 96 had 5 fours and 4 sixes.
Rassie Van Der Dussen and Kyle Verreynne were looking ominous with a 43-run stand before Akila Dananjaya trapped the latter for 12.
With the Proteas requiring 90 runs in the final 10 overs, Van Der Dussen continued on his merry way by sweeping the Lankan spinners – conventional and reverse – to reach his 9th ODI half-century.
South Africa required only 48 runs in the last 30 balls. However, Akila Dananjaya in his penultimate ball of the spell, managed to get through Van Der Dussen’s defenses, who misread the length whilst attempting a reverse-sweep.
Defending 38 runs in the final 3 overs, the seamers – Dushmantha Chameera and Chamika Karunaratne bowled three excellent death overs to derail the visitors.
Whilst collecting 10 valuable points in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, Sri Lanka lead the three-match ODI series, 1-0. The second match will be played at the same venue on Saturday.
Sri Lanka – 300/9 (50): Avishka Fernando 118, Dhananjaya De Silva 44, Charith Asalanka 72, Keshav Maharaj 2/30, Kagiso Rabada 2/66.
South Africa – 286/6 (50): Aiden Markram 96, Temba Bavuma 38, Rassie Van Der Dussen 59, Heinrich Klassen 36, Akila Dananjaya 2/65.
|Avishka Fernando||c Andile Phehlukwayo b Tabraiz Shamsi||118||115||10||2||102.61|
|Minod Bhanuka||b Aiden Markram||27||39||3||0||69.23|
|Bhanuka Rajapaksa||c Kyle Verreynne b Keshav Maharaj||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||st Heinrich Klaasen b Keshav Maharaj||44||62||5||0||70.97|
|Charith Asalanka||c Heinrich Klaasen b Kagiso Rabada||72||62||6||1||116.13|
|Dasun Shanaka||run out (Kagiso Rabada)||6||9||1||0||66.67|
|Wanindu Hasaranga||b Kagiso Rabada||3||6||0||0||50.00|
|Chamika Karunaratne||not out||7||7||0||0||100.00|
|Dushmantha Chameera||run out (Anrich Nortje)||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Akila Dananjaya||run out (Anrich Nortje)||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Praveen Jayawickrama||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||23 (b 5 , lb 5 , nb 2, w 11, pen 0)|
|Total||300/9 (50 Overs, RR: 6)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-57 (11.5) Minod Bhanuka, 2-58 (12.3) Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 3-137 (30.3) Dhananjaya de Silva, 4-234 (42.2) Avishka Fernando, 5-255 (45.5) Dasun Shanaka, 6-272 (47.6) Wanindu Hasaranga, 7-291 (49.2) Charith Asalanka, 8-299 (49.5) Dushmantha Chameera, 9-300 (49.6) Akila Dananjaya,|
|Janneman Malan||lbw b Wanindu Hasaranga||23||31||3||0||74.19|
|Aiden Markram||c Wanindu Hasaranga b Praveen Jayawickrama||96||90||5||4||106.67|
|Temba Bavuma||-select- b||38||53||1||0||71.70|
|Rassie van der Dussen||b Akila Dananjaya||59||59||6||0||100.00|
|Kyle Verreynne||lbw b Akila Dananjaya||12||20||0||0||60.00|
|Heinrich Klaasen||run out (Chamika Karunaratne)||36||31||2||0||116.13|
|Andile Phehlukwayo||b Chamika Karunaratne||5||8||0||0||62.50|
|Kagiso Rabada||not out||13||7||2||0||185.71|
|Keshav Maharaj||not out||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||4 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 0, w 4, pen 0)|
|Total||286/6 (50 Overs, RR: 5.72)|
|Did not bat||Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje,|
|Fall of Wickets||1-49 (9.4) Janneman Malan, 2-166 (30.5) Aiden Markram, 3-209 (39.3) Kyle Verreynne, 4-260 (45.5) Rassie van der Dussen, 5-269 (48.1) Andile Phehlukwayo, 6-286 (49.5) Heinrich Klaasen,|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||8||0||35||0||4.38|