South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Paarl

Morne wins over the fans

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka, in Paarl

Firdose Moonda at Boland Park

January 11, 2012

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Hashim Amla lofts the ball to the off side, South Africa v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Paarl, January 11, 2012
Hashim Amla greeted Ajantha Mendis with an inside-out smash © Associated Press
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Cheer of the day
Morne Morkel has had a tough time convincing local fans that he is deserving of his place in the starting XI this summer, but his display today would have done wonders for his popularity. After he had taken his third wicket, in just his third over, he returned to his position at fine leg to a rapturous applause from the crowd on the grass banks. They called out to him, clapped and cheered, and a blushing Morkel was forced to respond somehow. He thanked them bashfully with a small wave of the hand but under his cap was a massive smile, a sign that he knew he had turned a corner.

Harmison impersonator of the day
Dilhara Fernando has a reputation for starting his spells with a no-ball. In Paarl, he decided to change it up. After doing arm-waving warm-ups for six overs, he came into the attack and sent his first delivery way down the leg side, and it ran away for five wides. There was a collective groan around the stadium, and the ball drew memories of Steve Harmison starting the 2006-07 Ashes in the same fashion. Things didn't get much better for England in that series, neither did they this time for Fernando. He finished wicketless and conceded 65 runs off his nine overs.

Welcome of the day
Hashim Amla made a scratchy start and only announced his intent after he'd been allowed to settle down. Ajantha Mendis, still regarded as a mystery bowler by some, was introduced into the attack after 16 overs but Amla did not find anything puzzling about his first delivery. A tossed up straight ball was met with the meat of Amla's bat, as he took an open stance and played an inside-out smash over the covers for four.

Throwback of the day
Albie Morkel was moved up to No. 5 in the line-up when the third wicket fell with less than ten overs to go in the innings and South Africa in a commanding position at 244 for 3. Earlier this week, Morkel was not even in the South Africa squad; now, he was given the responsibility of scoring quick runs at the end of the innings. After 10 balls, he pulled out one of his trademark sixes. A short ball was slapped over square leg. If there was one shot he was moved up the order for, it was that one.

Dismissal of the day
South Africa struck a barely believable six early blows but the most sublime of them was Lonwabo Tsotsobe's dismissal of Dinesh Chandimal. He moved the ball in off the seam to beat Chandimal's drive and peg back middle stump, leaving Chandimal looking like a man with a glorious platter in his hand minus the cake. His elbows were high, his positioning good but his feet had not moved at all.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 17:06 GMT)

@hashabjp Sorry I believe you do not comprehend the definition of a choker - " In sports, a "choke" is the failure of an athlete or an athletic team to win a game or tournament when the player or team had been strongly favoured to win" Sl where minnows in 1996 World Cup and were no where near being favourites in 2007 wc while SA have never gone through knockout matches at world cups being favourites in almost all of those fixtures, prime example being against NZ in 2011 world cup quarter finals. SA have a brilliant side and one of the best in the world if the not the best but they are given the "Choker" status for a reason. Sl on the other hand have turned as inconsistent as the previous pakistan team which like that side has the talent, I hope for all us Lankan supporters out there that they can bring their true talent out in the following games. Krishan

Posted by NaniIndCri on (January 12, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

"Ajantha Mendis, still regarded as a mystery bowler by some.." good one.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Ajantha Mendis (with his special grip) or for that matter any spinner would find the new ploy of using 2 balls from 2 ends, difficult to cope with. Usage of a pink ball would have been a better alternative to deal with the wearing away & the discoloration of the white ball. I feel sorry for the SPINNERS!

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

@hashabjp get your facts right, devilliers has a few tons in losses.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

Ajantha Mendis (with his special grip) or for that matter any spinner would find the new ploy of using 2 balls from 2 ends, difficult to cope with. Usage of a pink ball would have been a better alternative to deal with the wearing away & the discoloration of the white ball. I feel sorry for the SPINNERS!

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

@ICC-BCCI: 2011 was not long ago. Mahela have made 1032 at an avg of 46 and a strike rate of 82 in ODI's and has the second most runs in T20 I's. True that he had a bad year in tests but drop him? really?

Posted by hashabjp on (January 12, 2012, 5:33 GMT)

LOOK WHO THE REAL CHOKERS ARE...... One world cup, two times finalist and get thrashed from the hands of PROTEAS TEAM who have never done that. Its a shame people call PROTEAS chokers. At least they know they have never won a world cup but look at the team that has done so. Can someone change the meaning of chokers now. Happy for the new captain AB DEVILLIERS and the centurion who has all his centuries in winning cause ( Tendulkar might be very jelous of this). GO PROTEAS, WOULD LOVE TO SEE ANOTHER DRUBBING IN THE COMING FIXTURES.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (January 12, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Harmison's wide went to second slip though, so Fernando's start was worse...

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 0:37 GMT)

go SA...Morne morkel is a deserving bowler, maybe this will rest doubts about his ability or his place in the side...hopefully SL can put in a good performance next game..feel sorry for SL fans.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

I was not expecting this result. I expected SL to be given a hiding in the Test series (credit to them for playing superbly in Durban) but I would never have picked such a lopsided ODI between the two. Of course, they're going to fight hard and I'm sure they will improve in the next game but there is something fundamentally wrong for the WC finalists to be shot out for under 50 on a pretty benign track. From an SA perspective, watching Amla, Kallis, and AB yesterday was a pure joy.

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