After being put into bat, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 181 in 48.3 overs as Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir grabbed 3 wickets apiece. Faf Du Plessis and Hashim Amla made elegant half centuries to help the hosts coast to an easy 8 wicket win.
Photos of the Sri Lanka v South Africa – 1st ODI 2017
Sri Lanka came into the game with some crucial momentum after taking the 3 match T20I series 2-1, however, the hosts South Africa were back to full strength with Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock among those who returned to the playing XI after being rested for the T20Is. All three made major contributions with the bat as the Proteas cruised to the target with 8 wickets and 94 deliveries to spare.
A total of 181 was never going to be enough against a lineup featuring 3 of the world’s top 10 batmen and South Africa made light work of the chase as expected. Sri Lanka’s only hope to make a match of it depended on them picking up early wickets but de Kock and Amla ensured that the hosts got off to a steady start, putting on 71 for the 1st wicket. Lakshan Sandakan made the breakthrough for Sri Lanka when he had de Kock caught by debutant Sandun Weerakkody at short extra cover. Du Plessis then joined Amla and the pair shut the doors on Sri Lanka’s hopes with a partnership of 60 for the 2nd wicket.
Asela Gunaratne continued his good form with the ball, picking up Amla in his very 1st over but it was too little too late for the visitors as De Villiers joined Du Plessis to take South Africa across the line with plenty of overs to spare.
Earlier in the day Parnell put Sri Lanka on the back foot right from the get go, trapping the visitor’s opener Niroshan Dickwella plumb in front with his 1st delivery of the game. Debutant Sandun Weerakkody got off the mark in international cricket with a boundary but his stay was short lived as he nicked a wide delivery to Hashim Amla at 1st slip off Parnell.
Vice-Captain Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis started the repair work for the visitors as they put on 72 for the 3rd wicket. However, at no point of the partnership were they able to wrest control away from the South Africans as the Protea bowlers kept things tight. Mendis was given out LBW on 49 but reviewed the decision immediately as replays showed he had nicked the ball; he brought up his half ton a few deliveries later. Chandimal labored to 22 off 55 deliveries, before he was fooled by a lovely googly outside the off stump by Imran Tahir, which spun viciously to crash into the off stump.
From that point Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals as none of the other batters could get going against some tight bowling by the South African bowlers. Dhananjaya de Silva briefly threatened to take Sri Lanka past the 200 run mark but with his dismissal in the 46th over, it looked unlikely that the visitors would survive their full quota of overs; they were eventually dismissed in 48.3 overs.
Chris Morris was impressive at the death for the hosts, finishing with 2/29 while Parnell grabbed 3/48 and Man of the Match Tahir took 3/26.
The teams will now travel to Durban for the 2nd ODI scheduled to be played on the 1st of February.