South Africa v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, East London January 14, 2012

Duminy, Amla take SA to five-wicket win


South Africa 237 for 5 (Duminy 66*, Amla 55, Prasad 3-46) beat Sri Lanka 236 for 6 (Chandimal 92*, Tharanga 66, M Morkel 2-39, Tsotsobe 2-43) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka's batting turned up on a slow East London pitch after the no-show in Paarl but a scratchy performance was not enough to push South Africa, though the hosts managed to give themselves some nervy moments during the chase. Sri Lanka's three big batsmen failed once again and it was only due to the rapidly maturing Dinesh Chandimal and Upul Tharanga that they avoided another poor score.

Hashim Amla's wizardry then threatened to shut out the visitors before South Africa lost crucial wickets at the wrong times to make sure the rest of their chase wouldn't be as breezy as Amla's innings was. JP Duminy, though, kept his cool to guide his side home in the penultimate over.

AB de Villiers had earlier been lured into putting Sri Lanka in by overcast skies, but the visitors were able to survive and slowly build their innings, partly due to the lack of bite in the pitch and partly due to Chandimal and Tharanga. That South Africa got as much as 237 to chase was down largely to Chandimal. He batted till the end of Sri Lanka's innings, displaying grit - a quality that has been largely absent among Sri Lanka's batsmen recently.

Chandimal outside-edged heaves over point, he even lap-swept a ball off his helmet a four. Timing eluded him for most of his innings, but fortune did not. He repeatedly tried to smash the spinners out of the ground only for the ball to roll towards midwicket. He could have been run out several times as he went for tight singles. He had earlier been hit on the arm and the side of the helmet by Albie Morkel as he played a pull too early. But he just smiled and rode out the tough period. He hit his first four off the 16th delivery he faced, the next one came off the 85th as he carried Sri Lanka from 164 for 5 in the 40th over to 236 for 6 in the company of Angelo Mathews.

The visitors had initially found themselves in familiar territory at 21 for 2 after 10 overs despite the Buffalo Park pitch affording neither the pace nor the bounce that Paarl had. Tillakaratne Dilshan still managed to get dismissed off the fourth ball he faced for his second duck in as many games, a slight hesitation while attempting a tight single against the arm of Faf du Plessis finding him short of the crease. He now averages 15.50 with the bat in 18 ODIs since taking over the Sri Lanka captaincy.

With edges dying on the wicketkeeper and batsmen being beaten after playing their shots too early, it was no surprise that Lonwabo Tsotsobe's assortment of slower deliveries and cutters proved difficult to score off. After having played the patience game in making 3 off 27 deliveries, Kumar Sangakkara fiddled with a Tsotsobe delivery outside off stump and feathered a dying edge to the wicketkeeper.

Tharanga and Chandimal were tested more by the slowness of the pitch than by South Africa's bowlers. But to their credit, they were prepared to wait and nudge the ball around. Tharanga, the only Sri Lanka batsman to find some measure of timing on the pitch, glided deliveries for boundaries through point, and when the spinners found some help from the pitch he stepped out to loft them down the ground. An attempt to glide Morne Morkel towards third man resulted in a faint edge to the keeper after he had motored to 66.

South Africa's excellence in the field earned them the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene and the promoted Nuwan Kulasekara, both after breezy cameos. Chandimal ultimately carried them to a score that was seven runs short of the average total by a side batting first at Buffalo Park.

Sri Lanka needed Lasith Malinga to strike early if they were to make the target of 237 seem bigger than it was, but Amla and Graeme Smith were careful to play out his opening burst with caution. With Malinga out of the way for the moment, Amla began to toy with the rest of the attack, untroubled by the slowness of the track. He smashed Nuwan Kulasekara for six over extra cover, walked across to flick him for four through midwicket and flicked him over square leg for six.

Dilshan soon did what he so often does when there are no answers to be found: he brought himself on. Amla guided and nudged him for consecutive fours to race towards his half-century. Dhammika Prasad gave Sri Lanka much-needed relief as Amla finally failed to connect and was bowled for 55.

Rangana Herath, who had been held back, came on and troubled Kallis immediately with sharp turn as well as with arm balls. A slow partnership between Kallis and Duminy followed, which served to push the asking-rate up. With 85 needed from 15 overs, Kallis sliced Prasad straight to sweeper cover in an attempt to speed up the scoring.

de Villiers came in charged up and soon ran himself out, attempting a non-existent single to short third man. But Amla's start had afforded South Africa the space to wobble a bit. Duminy did what was required, working the singles and pushing for the twos. He hit only one boundary off 87 deliveries but still scored at a strike-rate of over 75. It wasn't fancy stuff, it wasn't the artistry of Amla, but South Africa would be grateful to Duminy for doing the dirty work that steered home what should have been a far smoother chase.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lalindra on January 17, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    i will just point out 1 fact and any one can see that when the next match is played in Bloemfontein,now the dismal of Tillekeretne Dilshan ,duplessis fielded brilliantly to stop it and throw down the stumps,I won't be surprised if one or two run outs of that sought happen in Bloemfontein, Because what I'm trying to point out here is that Sri Lankans are very consistent of repeating there mistakes,like there Captain who is very consistent with his speeches when answering media men with his definitely word,who uses definitely when ever he starts a conversation.It would be nice to see if the skipper is more consistent with his batting and success of the team in to winning rather than his consistency in English Speeches,Mahela talking about doing basics right and Sanga With his Preaches.... That's why Sri Lanka is an active member of the NATO. NATO stands for ,No Action Talk Only (NATO).....

  • Anjana on January 15, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    A bit improved show by Sri Lankans. But the three star batsman of the team, Dilshan, Mahela and Sanga have only scored collectively 6 and 22 in the first two matches! Without the efforts by Chandimal and Tharanga, this match also could have well be a repeat telecast of the 1st match. This SL teams surely having serious problems in their unity. These guys are letting down their country and fans and this is too much! For god's sake BRING THILAN IN!

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    hey guys, no comments? what about dilshan's Miserable carrier to get 10 runs, what about Sanga's nailed innings 3 runs in 28 deliveries, what about Mahela's carrier ending batting failure continue, what about selfish Mathew's innings, what about all-rounder Kosala bawled only one over. Say something people. India in 0-4 white wash while SL 0-5 white wash.

  • Lalindra on January 15, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Lasith Malinga is only good to play in the IPL AND CPL,he's not good enough to play for his home land,when Sri Lanka needed the most to provide the Malinga Magic in recent past series's against England,Aussies',Pakistan n now South africa he hasn't produce the same kind of results he produces in INDIA WHEN PLAYING IN THE IPL AND CPL FOR HIS FRANCHISE TEAM MUMBAI INDIANS, did u see how malinga bowled in the latter part of the game in the last ODI?? ,his bowling was very casual missed a dolly catch of ALBIE MORKEL ,gave a full toss on da leg side 2 duplesis and was smiling as if he got a wicket witha toe crusher,he seems the least concern about the current sri lanka team and taking wickets to win matches to his home country,but during the last two seasons he played for mumbai indians in the IPL N CPL he won the man of the series award in da last cpl got a half century got wickets when ever tendulkar gave him da bowl @ crucial junctures 2 win matches 4 muby indns,but cant du da same nw

  • Lalindra on January 15, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    Batting didn't live up to the full potential as a result the whole team had to pay the price for it.Although Dilshan got out early It was Sangakkara who diminished SRI LANKA'S CHANCES of posing a good competitive total to the PROTEAS,Had Sangakkara got out early facing 1 or 2 deliveries it would have given a chance to DINESH CHANDIMAL TO BRING UP HIS 3rd TON OUT SIDE SRI LANKA.It would have benefited sri lanka more than his stubborn stay @ da crease.It was a pleasant site to see after ages two young guns battle it out under pressure cooper situations, to give some respectability to their score unlike last time. this was like the first time without the guidance or assistance of DILSHAN,SANGAKKARA AND MAHELA WHERE 2 YOUNG GUNS BUILD A PARTNERSHIP. hope in the future also these 2 can provide and to become the next sanga n mahela. how ever as always the case the acceleration happened @ times, not enough 2 give a fighting score.when needed da most mahela,mathews n chandimal cudn't accel.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Pathetic Display by the Sri Lankans,First of all the batting was too slow to start off with,Sangakkara absorbed a lot of deliveries which meant the incoming Batsman had to be more aggressive in their approach and to accumulate runs quickly to keep the score board ticking and to take the final score to a competitive one,In this Process Tharanga & Chandimal batted well a rear site from a lankan point of view where 2 youngster Batting under pressure cooper situation to give the team a good platform,this was like the 1st time in ages with out da big guns involved that 2 young guns build a partnership,but how evr as tharanga was about to accelerate he got out as is always the case with SRI LANKAN BATSMAN,There seems to be a problem for the lankan batsman to find the middle of the bat and score consistently @ a brisk pace,they might hit1,2 or max 3 out of the park.they never had really had the right kind of batsman to finish the innings who is a finisher as well as a hitter .

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    extremely better stuff compared to last match but i think its time to do some changes in batting order.. Dilshan looks like out of form so is Mahela. Mahela had performed really well when he was given a chance to open the batting. So let mahela open the batting with tharanga followed by sanga, chandimal, mathews, dilshan with sachithra/kosala/lahiru at no 07. Nothing much wrong with the bowling attack.. anyway Sl Cricket should think twice after this series whether to stick with the poor performance shown up by batting coach marvan (though he is one of the great players who had served SLC in past).. Also if mahela & dilshan doesn't do well in next few matches SLC should giv opportunity to youngsters...

  • Aruna on January 15, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    sorry. lahiru will fill dilshan, and sachithra diserves a go. put kosala out.

  • Aruna on January 15, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Sri lanka has nothing to loose. so why not give mathews a go as captain. and definitely a chance to bat ahead of mahela. dilshan should go out. at least for a brief period. dimuth will fill him.

  • Sarath on January 15, 2012, 2:27 GMT

    SACHITHRA who has been called to replace Ajantha, should have been in the Team very much earlier than this for his consistent performances in the Domestic scene since 2006. MALINDA PUSHPAKUMARA (a top grade left-arm spinner with a 1st Class Bow. Ave of 18+) , UMESH KARUNARATHNA (theBest Schoolboy Cricketer 2008 anAll-Rounder a consistent Performer at Domestic Level) ANGELO PERERA (theBest Schoolboy batsman 2009,Highest Run getter in the U23 tournaments , The Best Batsman at the SAARC T/20 Tournament though he has always been sent to bat at no 7-8 positions by the NCC management where Sangkkara is a member in order supress this quality batter being performing but he still managed to maintain a 1st Class Bat Ave around 40) BHANUKA RAJAPAKSHA (1st Class Bat Ave 51 theBest Schoolboy Cricketer 2010&2011 and one of the 3 best batsmen in the Youth WC 2010). All these players are good enough to replace all aging under performing seniors in the Team.

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