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

Sri Lanka batting too slow at start - Dilshan

27

Tillakaratne Dilshan has admitted that his side were "20 or 25 runs" short of a winning total in the second one-day international against South Africa in East London. Sri Lanka put on 236 for 6 after a slow start - they had managed just 82 runs by the halfway stage of their innings.

"The wicket was slow but we tried to get to 250," Dilshan said. "In the first 20 overs, we did not get enough runs. They bowled and fielded really well."

South Africa removed Dilshan in the second over and Kumar Sangakkara in the 10th, forcing Sri Lanka to retreat into defensive mode. Dinesh Chandimal had to partner Upul Tharanga in building an innings from the ground up and then join forces with bigger-hitters to craft a competitive total. "He [Chandimal] is one of the fine youngsters of Sri Lankan cricket," Dilshan said. "We wanted to give him opportunity at No. 4 and we hope he can carry on the same form in the next three matches."

Although South Africa's bowlers did not extract great pace or bounce from a tame strip, they were able to strangle Sri Lanka, something captain AB de Villiers put down to their combined efforts. "We took crucial wickets halfway through the game," de Villiers said. "We picked up Sangakkara and Jayawardene early on, and those two are some of their match-winners. It was a good team effort."

Given South Africa's record in chasing moderate but tricky scores, Sri Lanka would have thought they were in with a chance throughout. But they failed to take early wickets and only made breakthroughs later on in the innings, when South Africa were on course for victory. Dilshan said the make-up of the side may have affected their ability to claim more wickets.

"Another spinner might have been handy on this wicket," Dilshan admitted. Sri Lanka could not play two specialist spinners because Ajantha Mendis was out with injury - he had a recurrence of an earlier back problem ahead of the match - forcing Dilshan to rely on himself to some degree. "I bowled nine overs, because I thought this wicket will be helpful for the spinners."

Dilshan brought himself on to attack JP Duminy, who is thought to be susceptible against spin. Duminy defied both him and Rangana Herath, and recorded a competent 66 after being moved up the order into the top four. "I prefer a bit of time when I walk out to the middle and I wasn't given that opportunity in the previous matches," Duminy said. "We are going to mix it up between myself, AB and Faf [du Plessis] for those three positions [Nos. 4, 5 and 6] in the line-up. My goal was to get us as close as possible."

With South Africa showing flexibility and innovation in their 2-0 lead, the breaking point is almost upon Sri Lanka. They will need to win the third match in Bloemfontein to stay alive in the series. "We can take a lot of positives after losing the first one-dayer badly. This one came close," Dilshan said. "If we can lift our game 10-15%, we can do well in the next three matches. Me, Sanga [Sangakkara] and Mahela [Jayawardene] are not in great form. At least two of us have to come to the party."

Sri Lanka will be boosted by the knowledge that South Africa will go into the remainder of the series somewhat unsettled at the top. Hashim Amla has been released for paternal duties after scoring a century and a half-century in the first two matches. "Hashim will be missed. Hopefully we clinch the series without him as soon as possible," de Villiers said. "But we have a lot of talent in South African cricket and I am looking forward to what the selectors come up with [as a replacement for Amla]."

Alviro Petersen is expected to be called up, to open with Graeme Smith. De Villiers indicated that the former captain will keep his position, despite his poor run of late. "Graeme is a huge factor in our team," de Villiers said. "He is not scoring 1000 runs in every game at the moment but he will be back soon."

South Africa's squad for the next match will be announced on Sunday. The selectors are also deliberating the right time to offer Jacques Kallis a rest.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sudu_putha on January 17, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    We want Dilshan to go...pls get Ange as a cap

  • on January 17, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    Tharanga as captain? Excellent idea Ashayne De Silva: Tharanga is a modest, level-headed boy with very little ego... He could lead SL just like Mahela did in his early captaincy.

  • on January 16, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Sorry boys we were very proud of you. Dilshan is clearly struggling with the bat. Captaincy is too much for him. It is time for Mahela to stop trying to be a journalist and get back to playing cricket and may be take over from Dilshan. Sanga is supposed to be one of the worlds top batsman. 4 runs from 28 balls does not reflect that at all. Angelo you were playing an ODI you took it too easy. I do not think you are mature enough to take over the captaincy as yet. I cannot understand the selectors. Thilan Samaraweera was in the world cup squad much to our surprise. He was instrumental winning one test against SA and drawing the next. Why on earth did you not let him play the ODI's whilst our boys get their act together. All the players, selectors and administrators are running around like headless chickens. Do you have any pride for our much loved country Sri Lanka.It does not appear so. Come on LIONS Roar!!!!

  • ShehanJay on January 16, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    If Dilshan had been an Australian, he would never have been included in the test side. Probably in the T20 team and maybe in the one-day squad. But if he kept failing like like this in his batting, he would have been dropped like a hot cake. The other problem in SL cricket is politics in cricket and players not knowing when to retire.

  • fadms on January 16, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    In my opinion, Mahela needs a big break.

  • on January 16, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    SL where do you go from here. People want Mahela as the captain. Can he hold on to his place in the team?

  • Penny71 on January 15, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Hey DIL,

    Ask your vice captain (Mathews) what he did from overs 46 to 50. We could ahve easily hit 250, if youe wise captain is actually a captain material. He did not think of throwing big hits and taken singles to give Chandimal who miss hitting all valuable scoring balls. Thanranga, Kula and Mahela did goo building up. It was short sighted Mathews and Chandimal's lack of experience at end overs cost us the game.

  • on January 15, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    Oh Sri Lanka, you have done it again. Why dont SL selectors give a break to Mahela , Sanga and Dilshan? They can re-discover their form and touch and return to the playing eleven later. They dont contribute anything to the team at the moment. They are just blocking the young talent such as Chandimal.

  • om.pani on January 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    after wasting 28 balls sanga score only 3 runs. I think these days He trying take odi to new level

  • seantells on January 15, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    SL have never got a Captain like Dilshan in the history of SL cricket , and this tour of SAF should be his last.

  • Sudu_putha on January 17, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    We want Dilshan to go...pls get Ange as a cap

  • on January 17, 2012, 1:03 GMT

    Tharanga as captain? Excellent idea Ashayne De Silva: Tharanga is a modest, level-headed boy with very little ego... He could lead SL just like Mahela did in his early captaincy.

  • on January 16, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Sorry boys we were very proud of you. Dilshan is clearly struggling with the bat. Captaincy is too much for him. It is time for Mahela to stop trying to be a journalist and get back to playing cricket and may be take over from Dilshan. Sanga is supposed to be one of the worlds top batsman. 4 runs from 28 balls does not reflect that at all. Angelo you were playing an ODI you took it too easy. I do not think you are mature enough to take over the captaincy as yet. I cannot understand the selectors. Thilan Samaraweera was in the world cup squad much to our surprise. He was instrumental winning one test against SA and drawing the next. Why on earth did you not let him play the ODI's whilst our boys get their act together. All the players, selectors and administrators are running around like headless chickens. Do you have any pride for our much loved country Sri Lanka.It does not appear so. Come on LIONS Roar!!!!

  • ShehanJay on January 16, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    If Dilshan had been an Australian, he would never have been included in the test side. Probably in the T20 team and maybe in the one-day squad. But if he kept failing like like this in his batting, he would have been dropped like a hot cake. The other problem in SL cricket is politics in cricket and players not knowing when to retire.

  • fadms on January 16, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    In my opinion, Mahela needs a big break.

  • on January 16, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    SL where do you go from here. People want Mahela as the captain. Can he hold on to his place in the team?

  • Penny71 on January 15, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Hey DIL,

    Ask your vice captain (Mathews) what he did from overs 46 to 50. We could ahve easily hit 250, if youe wise captain is actually a captain material. He did not think of throwing big hits and taken singles to give Chandimal who miss hitting all valuable scoring balls. Thanranga, Kula and Mahela did goo building up. It was short sighted Mathews and Chandimal's lack of experience at end overs cost us the game.

  • on January 15, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    Oh Sri Lanka, you have done it again. Why dont SL selectors give a break to Mahela , Sanga and Dilshan? They can re-discover their form and touch and return to the playing eleven later. They dont contribute anything to the team at the moment. They are just blocking the young talent such as Chandimal.

  • om.pani on January 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    after wasting 28 balls sanga score only 3 runs. I think these days He trying take odi to new level

  • seantells on January 15, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    SL have never got a Captain like Dilshan in the history of SL cricket , and this tour of SAF should be his last.

  • Sageleaf on January 15, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Dear Dilshan, why don't you drop yourself from the ODI n get someone else to captain? You have not scored well for sometimes and so is Mahela. Give and opportunity to Tilan in the ODI and let Sanga captain the side. Do you know if you were in Australian side you and Mahela would be dropped by now. But we keep having faith and you both don't deliver. It's not fare guys. I think your age is catching up too. Don't wait until you are dropped; just give an opportunity to a youngster. If you still have cricket in you take break prove you can still do it by playing and adjusting to new challenges which you face in cricket now. Don't get fans dislike you like what happened to some of our senior players few months back.

  • KosalaDeSilva on January 15, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    wish some one can explain why they don't play Samaraweera as he scored fast enough than most of others and end of the day get soem runs...well no wonder how things going on ..

  • Prema1948 on January 15, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Don't talk rubbish; it is always better to keep your mouth shut without exposing your true ignorance of the Game. It is so much the better for the Country if you can get another team mate's help, who has thorough knowledge of the Game to talk on behalf of you. Before talking nonsense, you have to learn the ways of surviving in these tough conditions against quality bowlers. You can't always bat like a man after one glass of liquor. The majority of SLan fans are totally disgusted over your hanging there too long, disrupting the future of the Country's Cricket.

  • Ameega on January 15, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Dilshan currently does only 2 duties. Toss the coin and make the post match statement. We are waiting until your bat speaks Dilshan!

  • on January 15, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    does anyone believe that Upul tharanga should be in the test team and be developed to be our next captain he is 26 and captains nondescripts which he did successfully in winning the domestic one day comp in sri lanka. Plus he is a good batter

  • popped on January 15, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    Absolutely unbelievable dilshan can only make stupid comments if he had contributed something to the score then he has the authority to make comments like this , if tharanga hadn't scored what he did SL would not even be having a score to defend , this guy has nothing but complaints to make any thing to hide his short comings will do at the moment he neither contributes with the bat nor with his captaincy remember him bowling 5 bowlers during the first 10 him bowling himself did more harm than good he thinks he is the specialist bowler, no decency in this guy at all

  • on January 15, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Why not give Mahela also some rest for a game. May be as Sri Lanka is doing very well we can rest Dilshan also for a game.

  • TYJAY on January 15, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Dishan Should be kicked out of the team along with Matthews.

  • ShehanJay on January 15, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Sri Lanka batting too slow at start - Dilshan...ha...ha...ha...that is the understatement of 2012. obviously batting became slow after Dilshan's silly run out. Either Dilshan has to bat down the order, letting Mahela open with Tharanga, or he must play with a bit more caution. He should learn a lesson or two from the young Denesh Chandimal.

  • ButWhatDoIKnow on January 15, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Time for Captain Dilshan to move down the batting order. Mahela is arguably a better opener than he is. So the selectors should probably move Mahela up to Open and push Dilshan down to 5 and play him as the mediocre all rounder he has become on tour or maybe even drop him all together!! If he puts in half the effort he must be putting in to grooming his own beard every morning, he'll be hitting a century every other innings....

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Great fight by the Lankans, but still the all important senior 3 Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan are failing too much! Great to see Chandimal and Prasad excel yesterday!

  • harikeshan on January 15, 2012, 2:20 GMT

    Dilshan - should he have any sense of responsibility and dignity he should resign. His batting has been a failure on this tour. His Captaincy, atrocious at most times. His batting during the test match was appalling. The only thing he has going for him are the press conferences. SLC should put an end to this stop gap measure and groom someone with the future in Mind.

  • on January 14, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Dilshan should step down as a Captain..

  • TWIC on January 14, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    I am genuinely hoping that the selectors show some backbone and select Richard Levi or even JJ Smuts to take Amla's place. Levi is 24 and JJ is 23, this would be the perfect opportunity to give them a chance at the international level. Peterson's good but he isn't a long term prospect.

    I still do not see the point in playing Robin Peterson over Johan Botha, but now I'm getting ahead of myself...

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 14, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Excuses.. excuses...excuses !!! this is what SL and India are good at giving. Both are useless now and will fall way down in the rankings in the next 2 years. Serves their over expectant fans right !!!

  • suve on January 14, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Dilshan's Captaincy was once again dreadful. 7 bowlers used at 15 overs, 11 bowling changes at the 22nd over. He bowled 9 overs of Harmless offspin which took the pressure right off SA. It was as if it was a friendly club match when Dilshan was bowling, he didn't spin any of them and most of them short&wide.

    I heard Sangakkara say a couple of times to dilshan "Kosalata tikak then da" which means give the ball to K Kulasekara, but Dilshan didnt and kept bowling. Dilshan should listen to Sanga and Mahela rather than just bowling 9 overs of waste. The Man of the match should have been Chandimal who made a fighting 92 not outl, even though Duminy played very well for his 66. I hope the Man of the match wasn't chosen by the commentators as most of them (Wessels,Ackerman,Matthews) were very biased towards SA and the only decent commentators were Mike Haysmond and Arnold. Anyway SL did well to come back from 43 all out but credit goes to SA, as they have been very good again.

  • Lord.emsworth on January 14, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    'Me, Sanga [Sangakkara] and Mahela [Jayawardene] are not in great form' Ha! what an understatement. Mahela J, the undroppable, out again cheaply for the zillionth time. Sanga crawled to 3 runs off 29 balls. Wish MJ retires and doesn't make an ass of himself like Jayasuriya did, and I wish Sanga stops playing ODI cricket - He often boggs down the batting in this format coming in at nr.3. Doesnt matter if the openers have put on 100 or 0 on the board. Still, better show this time around SL….and Well done SA!

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  • Lord.emsworth on January 14, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    'Me, Sanga [Sangakkara] and Mahela [Jayawardene] are not in great form' Ha! what an understatement. Mahela J, the undroppable, out again cheaply for the zillionth time. Sanga crawled to 3 runs off 29 balls. Wish MJ retires and doesn't make an ass of himself like Jayasuriya did, and I wish Sanga stops playing ODI cricket - He often boggs down the batting in this format coming in at nr.3. Doesnt matter if the openers have put on 100 or 0 on the board. Still, better show this time around SL….and Well done SA!

  • suve on January 14, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Dilshan's Captaincy was once again dreadful. 7 bowlers used at 15 overs, 11 bowling changes at the 22nd over. He bowled 9 overs of Harmless offspin which took the pressure right off SA. It was as if it was a friendly club match when Dilshan was bowling, he didn't spin any of them and most of them short&wide.

    I heard Sangakkara say a couple of times to dilshan "Kosalata tikak then da" which means give the ball to K Kulasekara, but Dilshan didnt and kept bowling. Dilshan should listen to Sanga and Mahela rather than just bowling 9 overs of waste. The Man of the match should have been Chandimal who made a fighting 92 not outl, even though Duminy played very well for his 66. I hope the Man of the match wasn't chosen by the commentators as most of them (Wessels,Ackerman,Matthews) were very biased towards SA and the only decent commentators were Mike Haysmond and Arnold. Anyway SL did well to come back from 43 all out but credit goes to SA, as they have been very good again.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 14, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Excuses.. excuses...excuses !!! this is what SL and India are good at giving. Both are useless now and will fall way down in the rankings in the next 2 years. Serves their over expectant fans right !!!

  • TWIC on January 14, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    I am genuinely hoping that the selectors show some backbone and select Richard Levi or even JJ Smuts to take Amla's place. Levi is 24 and JJ is 23, this would be the perfect opportunity to give them a chance at the international level. Peterson's good but he isn't a long term prospect.

    I still do not see the point in playing Robin Peterson over Johan Botha, but now I'm getting ahead of myself...

  • on January 14, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Dilshan should step down as a Captain..

  • harikeshan on January 15, 2012, 2:20 GMT

    Dilshan - should he have any sense of responsibility and dignity he should resign. His batting has been a failure on this tour. His Captaincy, atrocious at most times. His batting during the test match was appalling. The only thing he has going for him are the press conferences. SLC should put an end to this stop gap measure and groom someone with the future in Mind.

  • Sinhaya on January 15, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Great fight by the Lankans, but still the all important senior 3 Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan are failing too much! Great to see Chandimal and Prasad excel yesterday!

  • ButWhatDoIKnow on January 15, 2012, 4:36 GMT

    Time for Captain Dilshan to move down the batting order. Mahela is arguably a better opener than he is. So the selectors should probably move Mahela up to Open and push Dilshan down to 5 and play him as the mediocre all rounder he has become on tour or maybe even drop him all together!! If he puts in half the effort he must be putting in to grooming his own beard every morning, he'll be hitting a century every other innings....

  • ShehanJay on January 15, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Sri Lanka batting too slow at start - Dilshan...ha...ha...ha...that is the understatement of 2012. obviously batting became slow after Dilshan's silly run out. Either Dilshan has to bat down the order, letting Mahela open with Tharanga, or he must play with a bit more caution. He should learn a lesson or two from the young Denesh Chandimal.

  • TYJAY on January 15, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    Dishan Should be kicked out of the team along with Matthews.