South Africa v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Johannesburg January 22, 2012

Sri Lanka ride on Sangakkara ton in thriller

79

Sri Lanka 314 for 8 (Sangakkara 102, Thirimanne 69) beat South Africa 312 for 4 (de Villiers 125*, Smith 125) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

For once, the choke was almost on the opposition in a game involving South Africa. Sri Lanka almost messed up what had been the perfect big ODI chase. Their openers had blazed away and their middle order had kept up with the asking rate. Kumar Sangakkara was batting on a silken century with Sri Lanka on 274 for 3 in 44 overs chasing 313. And then came the collapse. Sangakkara holed out. It became 308 for 8 before Sachithra Senanayake, playing his second ODI, slog-swept the penultimate delivery for six to ensure the visitors left South Africa with a respectable 2-3 scoreline.

Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne had looked on course to lead Sri Lanka to their second consecutive successful chase of a 300-plus target after centuries from AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith had boosted South Africa to 312. In only his fifth ODI, Lahiru Thirimanne matched Sangakkara in an ultimately match-winning fourth-wicket partnership of 100, built on the solid start given by the openers. Following a rain delay after seven overs, the bowlers found it difficult to grip the ball.

But having reached his hundred off 96 deliveries, Sangakkara lofted JP Duminy straight to long-off. Fortune seemed to favour Sri Lanka in the next over when Thirimanne inside-edged Morne Morkel past his stumps for a four and off the next ball, Wayne Parnell fumbled at third man in the glare of the floodlights.

With 19 needed off 24, Sri Lanka were still on top. Angelo Mathews, though, chipped a Parnell high full toss to short extra cover to bring the hero of the fourth ODI, Thisara Perera, in. Duminy sneaked in a tight penultimate over to Perera which ended with the batsman smashing another high full toss to deep midwicket.

It came down to six off the final over with Sri Lanka still ahead. de Villiers gambled with Robin Peterson but even he would not have bargained for the left-arm spinner taking two wickets in three deliveries. Nuwan Kulasekara missed an attempted loft over extra cover to be bowled first ball. Rangana Herath sensibly gave the strike to Thirimanne next ball but the latter charged out and sliced the third delivery to short third man. The Wanderers roared with anticipation as Senanayake stepped out to defend the fourth one but was silenced when he slammed the fifth ball for a flat six over deep midwicket. It was also his first scoring shot in one-day internationals.

It was a chaotic end to what had been a well-choreographed chase. Sangakkara looked in no trouble and after unfortunate dismissals in the previous two games, carried on to play a decisive innings. Young Thirimanne showed remarkable composure in the company of his senior partner to make his maiden ODI fifty. While Sangakkara was in a zone of his own, finding all corners of the ground, Thirimanne favoured the point region whenever Sri Lanka needed a boundary.

The duo had Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan to thank for giving Sri Lanka the start they needed in a challenging chase. Sri Lanka's task had been further complicated by the need to keep one eye on the Duckworth-Lewis par score, with the looming threat of more rain after a thunderstorm caused nearly an hour's break in play.

Dilshan was his usual mix of plays-and-misses, on-the-up drives and whips. Tharanga was his usual self as well, timing the ball effortlessly through the off side after Morne dropped a sharp return chance with the batsman on 8. Sri Lanka had raced to 56 when the rain finally arrived in the eighth over.

Tharanga launched Lonwabo Tsotsobe for consecutive fours on resumption. Two deliveries later, Tsotsobe slipped in the slower one, and Tharanga sliced his lofted stroke for Duminy to hold on a sensational catch, diving after running back from cover.

Dilshan and Sangakkara kept Sri Lanka comfortably ahead of the par score but Tsotsobe struck again, having Dilshan edging an attempted steer off a short ball to the wicketkeeper. But Sangakkara kept finding the odd boundary to ensure that the asking rate did not gallop away.

That Sri Lanka were faced with such a stiff chase was because South Africa blasted 209 runs in the second half of their innings, and 109 off the final ten overs, to surge past 300. Smith overcame a scratchy start to biff his first ODI hundred since September 2009; de Villers carried on his superb form in the series to breeze to his first hundred as captain. The partnership of 186 between Smith and de Villiers was the second-highest in an ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

As he had done in the fourth ODI, de Villiers put on an incredible display of boundary-hitting; he had targeted extra cover against the spinners in Kimberley, now he added fine leg against the medium-pacers. He repeatedly scooped deliveries from three feet outside off stump over short fine leg. Smith took an eternity to find his range, but when he did, he peppered the midwicket boundary with four sixes, all against the offspin of Senanayake.

There was no sign in the first half of the innings of what was to come later. South Africa had been kept down to 103 for 2 in 25 overs, with their latest experiment at the No. 3 position, Faf du Plessis, not working, and Smith struggling to find his timing. It was de Villiers who signalled the shift, launching Tillakaratne Dilshan's first ball of the 26th over for six over midwicket.

Smith soon got to his hundred with a typical nudge on the leg side and the Wanderers did not hold back the applause for their Test captain. To his credit, he was prepared to bat uglier than usual. He fell to Malinga on 125 to a brilliant leaping catch by Dinesh Chandimal at midwicket. An over earlier, Dilshan had spilled a much simpler catch off de Villiers at extra cover. de Villiers was on 84 then, he finished unbeaten on 125.

de Villiers' late assault wasn't beyond Sri Lanka in the end, though, and left them wondering what could have been had rain not determined the fate of the third ODI.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mark2011 on January 25, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    @ SAFFERFTW; what is wrong saying that it should have been 3-2 series to SL? it well should have been...except 1 st macth SL played very good cricket. dont talk about Kallis, Amla, Steyn..what u mean by their absence.. haven't SA lost when they played.SA score almost 300 both occasion, so do you mean that was poor scoring.when.. if u cant bear SL winning..it is your dirty selfish mind.. get it out.

  • Cric_Tic on January 24, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Iam frm India..Remarkble the way Srilanka has turned around as a unit... Kudos for excellent fighting wins in last 2 matches..

  • rushan811 on January 24, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    well done sachitra,wt a way to start his batting career and well back kumar.you guys deseverd.ab & guys played well,good luck guys for australia

  • playitstraight on January 23, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka from an Indian!!! Sanga's sublime century was one of the best ODI knocks that I have seen in SA, superbly composed innings. Good luck on Aus tour and good luck Mahela on the captaincy, waiting for some Ind vs SL matches!!!

  • dhanuhskaS on January 23, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    Even with the lost game due to DL, SL could have won the series...if not for the selfish...absurd batting display by Mathews during the last few overs in 2nd ODI. If SL had another had another10 -15 runs, they could have won it. Matews didn't looke for any big shots during the last 6 overs...scoring just 16 runs with 12 singles and 1x4...wasting 18 balls...equivalent to 3 final overs (including 8 balls of the last 2 overs).!!! This is not acceptable, specially with 5 wickets in hand. This is how he scored during 45th to 50th over: 45th- 1 run - 3 balls, 46th- 2 runs - 3 balls. 47th- 1 run - 1 ball, 48th- 2 runs - 3 balls, 49th- 3 runs -4 balls, 50th- 7 runs - 4 balls Chandimal scored 26 runs facing same number of balls (18 balls) with 3 boundaries during the same period..! If Mathews is playing for his own stats... I don't think he will go far.,.!

  • SAFFERFTW on January 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    I wonder why many comments here are saying that it should have been a 3-2 series too Sri- Lanka, first of all it was not. It was 3-2 To South Africa. No matter how everyone tries to justify that it should have been the other way round. Remember Sril-Lanka beat SA in a World cup game that ultimately kicked South Africa from the world Cup. Secondly South Africa didn't have Kallis, Steyn, and Hashim Amla. Would Sri-Lanka be able to do what they with out Kuma, Dilshan and Perera? I'm not taking anything away from Sri Lanka they played brilliantly and deserved to win the last two games, but some people are taking it a little far when they say they deserved to Win the series. Well don't to both teams it was a good all round series.

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    @ espnchekmate : Ohh.. Ugly batting by Sri Lanka???? Then no words for SA batting in the 4th game... They may have get over 400 if they batted like in their middle overs... Did they get that much???

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    SL 2 SA 2 D/L 1 This is the result of the series, could have been 3-2 Sri Lanka

  • on January 23, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    I think Dilshan is a very good player but not a good captain.SCB has made the right decision to appoint Jayawardene as captain.I still think it will take sometime for them to be as competitive as they were 1 year ago.Great win though.

  • Urajapakse on January 23, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Great win again guys & you showed the world that we Sri Lankans are made of steel.

    Now you have confidence again & I am sure that we can give Australians a real fight. Keep the good work going, but always remember COUNTRY BEFORE SELF.

    PLAY AS A TEAM, SUCCESS WILL FOLLOW YOU.

  • mark2011 on January 25, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    @ SAFFERFTW; what is wrong saying that it should have been 3-2 series to SL? it well should have been...except 1 st macth SL played very good cricket. dont talk about Kallis, Amla, Steyn..what u mean by their absence.. haven't SA lost when they played.SA score almost 300 both occasion, so do you mean that was poor scoring.when.. if u cant bear SL winning..it is your dirty selfish mind.. get it out.

  • Cric_Tic on January 24, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Iam frm India..Remarkble the way Srilanka has turned around as a unit... Kudos for excellent fighting wins in last 2 matches..

  • rushan811 on January 24, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    well done sachitra,wt a way to start his batting career and well back kumar.you guys deseverd.ab & guys played well,good luck guys for australia

  • playitstraight on January 23, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka from an Indian!!! Sanga's sublime century was one of the best ODI knocks that I have seen in SA, superbly composed innings. Good luck on Aus tour and good luck Mahela on the captaincy, waiting for some Ind vs SL matches!!!

  • dhanuhskaS on January 23, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    Even with the lost game due to DL, SL could have won the series...if not for the selfish...absurd batting display by Mathews during the last few overs in 2nd ODI. If SL had another had another10 -15 runs, they could have won it. Matews didn't looke for any big shots during the last 6 overs...scoring just 16 runs with 12 singles and 1x4...wasting 18 balls...equivalent to 3 final overs (including 8 balls of the last 2 overs).!!! This is not acceptable, specially with 5 wickets in hand. This is how he scored during 45th to 50th over: 45th- 1 run - 3 balls, 46th- 2 runs - 3 balls. 47th- 1 run - 1 ball, 48th- 2 runs - 3 balls, 49th- 3 runs -4 balls, 50th- 7 runs - 4 balls Chandimal scored 26 runs facing same number of balls (18 balls) with 3 boundaries during the same period..! If Mathews is playing for his own stats... I don't think he will go far.,.!

  • SAFFERFTW on January 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    I wonder why many comments here are saying that it should have been a 3-2 series too Sri- Lanka, first of all it was not. It was 3-2 To South Africa. No matter how everyone tries to justify that it should have been the other way round. Remember Sril-Lanka beat SA in a World cup game that ultimately kicked South Africa from the world Cup. Secondly South Africa didn't have Kallis, Steyn, and Hashim Amla. Would Sri-Lanka be able to do what they with out Kuma, Dilshan and Perera? I'm not taking anything away from Sri Lanka they played brilliantly and deserved to win the last two games, but some people are taking it a little far when they say they deserved to Win the series. Well don't to both teams it was a good all round series.

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    @ espnchekmate : Ohh.. Ugly batting by Sri Lanka???? Then no words for SA batting in the 4th game... They may have get over 400 if they batted like in their middle overs... Did they get that much???

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    SL 2 SA 2 D/L 1 This is the result of the series, could have been 3-2 Sri Lanka

  • on January 23, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    I think Dilshan is a very good player but not a good captain.SCB has made the right decision to appoint Jayawardene as captain.I still think it will take sometime for them to be as competitive as they were 1 year ago.Great win though.

  • Urajapakse on January 23, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Great win again guys & you showed the world that we Sri Lankans are made of steel.

    Now you have confidence again & I am sure that we can give Australians a real fight. Keep the good work going, but always remember COUNTRY BEFORE SELF.

    PLAY AS A TEAM, SUCCESS WILL FOLLOW YOU.

  • SLMaster on January 23, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Two very great wins for SL...Can one say difference is Mahela Jayawardena. Mahela said under new rules scoring 300 is very very difficult... But until ....

  • mano.mcse on January 23, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    Sangakkara is a good batsmen and wicket keeping and captain. he can make huge differences in SL team.

  • espnchekmate on January 23, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    very ugly batting by the SRI LANKANS,they should have ended 315/3 with sanga 115 * and THIRIMANNE 70* with few overs to spare,take for example how INDIANS bat ,when they chased SRI LANKA'S WC final,did DHONI and yuvaraj throw their wickets? they finished the job,unlike SANGAKKARA'S ALWAYS REPAINTents COME TO LATE GESTURES WHEN HE GETS OUT FOOLISHLY,AND REPAINTS ABOUT IT,AS IF HE WAS VERY UNFORTUNATE,HE CAN'T SEE HIS OWN STUPIDITY.......... every time in a vital when ever a sri lankan scorea hundred and bring the team to wining position be it tharanga,dilshan,Sangakkara etc........all throw their wickets and go in disgut to the pavilion and tell in the media i should have stayed......there is a saying that there is no medicine for stupidity for these sri lankan's......anyway congratulations to THE ISLANDERS AND COMMISERATIONS TO THE SOUTH AFRICAN'S.

  • Xtra-Cover on January 23, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka! You guys shocked South Africa by chasing 300 odd runs at 2 times in their home grounds. Full credits to SL batsmen Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dilshan, Thirimanne and Chandimal for their sensible batting under pressure. Good comeback by SL team and this will definitely boost their confidence for the upcoming Australian tri series. SL team must be appreciated by SA spectators for keeping them alive on toes and nail-biting until the final over. However it is so sad to see there were no high comments about SL team for their performance, even from the Captain De Villiers at the presentation ceremony, other than boasting on SA cricket. It is understandable because they failed to whitewash the series as they thought. Finally the trophy was given to SA by Duckworth Lewis....What a shame SA! .... Good Luck Sri Lanka!

  • on January 23, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    This was the mother of all nail biters for me in cricket. I almost fell off the couch when Kula got bowled... ha ha ha

  • on January 23, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    What a relief...........................

  • on January 23, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Lot of positives for Sri Lanka on this tour. They won a Test in SA as well chased a formidable target of 300 and 300+ wins in ODI. They lost both Test/ODI series but if you look closely it is only by a game. The third ODI could have gone either way if it hadn't rained. I believe it's better for Lanka to replace Mahela with a performing youngster. Mahela has done well but presently he is under-performing therefore leave him out. We have done that to Seywag and many other under-performing senior players. Perhaps SL should keep their current Coach..He hasn't done bad and it's too early to sack him. Good Luck Lanka.

  • on January 23, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    sri lanka should have won the 3rd ODI. so SL are the winners of ODI series for sure

  • on January 23, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    Sangakkara marvelous century provide Sri Lanka to finish the 5 ODI series with 3-2. Congrats!

  • shahbazchoudhry on January 23, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    Good efforts by the SL team But never the less it was good game and sangakara is always batted well in pressure situation.

  • Reesath on January 23, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    kumar is always best. and he is one of the best cricketter

  • on January 23, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    Excellent performance by Changa Great !!!....

  • Noman_Yousuf_Dandore on January 23, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    'To his credit, he [Grame Smith] was prepared to bat uglier than usual.' Now how is that even possible; uglier than his usual, seriously?? If it did happen, then Thank God I was spared!!

  • akon1986 on January 23, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    Good stuff sri lanka WE CHOKED THEM AGAIN!!!!

  • shaan1010 on January 23, 2012, 8:47 GMT

    Yes..superb game of cricket....Remarkable run chase...Chandimal & Thirimanna shud b in d final XI..Young Bhanuka also 2 b considered..In Australia tour, Angelo & Mahela should fight for their places in final squad... In upcoming tours, SL shud stick with 6 batting specialists along wid angelo as d allrounder slot @ 7 becos of lack of stability in middle order...Sachithra sholud get a fair better chances in d final XI....

  • hnlns on January 23, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    As a spectator, cannot ask for more than such a match which had runs, wickets, close finish. Hats off to the curator who did an excellent job in giving a typical Wanderers pitch noted for its carry and bounce.

  • 9ST9 on January 23, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    43,236,266,304,314 ... quite an improvement. agree with the author no secret that third odi was in the bag for SL until a high scoring over, and the rain fell, if it had gone for much longer and malinga had had one more over at morkel it might well be 3-2 in sL's favour.

  • Black_Rider on January 23, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Congratzzzz Guys....Well played Sanga and Lahiru...Lahiru's knock was just pure class.

  • on January 23, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    srilanka is back in form

  • on January 23, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Great Batting From Sri Lanka To Chase down 300+ Total Twice against This Powerful South africa pace attack is by no mean ajoke

  • Lakpj on January 23, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    Great effort by SL. If Dilshan had hold on to SBs catch and got Smith runout, SA would not have made 300. However out of the 2 teams SL would take the most positives out.Their young players performed really well in difficult conditions under difficult circumstances. That would hold them well for the future. Whereas none of the experiments done by SA didn't work. It was their old guns that performed through out.

  • peshawarwazir on January 23, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    Congrats srilankan cricketers and nation from a Pakistani cricket fa...pakistan

  • Sudu_putha on January 23, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Welldone boys.... Really good win ...Hope this will turn the tables around....

  • fadms on January 23, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    The Proteas had rain to thank for in this series, but they deserved the series win though. De Villiers is playing extremely well. Hope he continues his good form. Well done Sri Lanka. You just need to continue believing in yourselves and the youngsters. It was a thrilling match indeed and i greatly enjoyed the result.

  • on January 23, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Great work at the end of the Series!!! SL played really well There!!! 3 ODI was really unlucky for SL.if that played to end. That could be a favor of Sri Lanka side!!! Anyway Congrats Sri Lanka!!!

  • HILMY10730603 on January 23, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka. What a way to end the Series. Sri Lanka actually won the Series if not for the rain on the 3rd Match. Also, what a pity to see that Two Famous Umpires - Nigel Llong and Erasmus make blunders in the final stages. Thisara Perera was given out to a way high full toss, purposely unnoticed by those two so called Elite Umpires. They could have easily checked with the third umpire. But, they did not. If Sri Lanka had lost the match by any mean, then it should be put to very bad umpiring. Now Sri Lanka, the challenges in Australia with Brand New Coach, a brilliant captain and experienced players. Go Lion go

  • benjer on January 23, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Great players showing great commitment to help them win.........Super Innings..:) out of Asia Srilanka is the best team for Asian cricket Team...

  • on January 23, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    I think we are back on track. But I think Captaincy needs a change. Mahela Would be the man for the current situation. Any way happy to see Lions Roar again. Good luck & Love u Sri Lanka

  • SL_Cric on January 23, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    Real question now to be asked is, should there a place to MAHELA in the ODI SQUAD. During last Ten months period our TEAM performance became to WORST and even we were ALL OUT for 43....Many changes done and nothing WORKED...

    But once Mahels DROPPED from the TEAM we started to WIN...Chased 299 very esily in the first match after Mahela dropping and in next game 312 was also chased and WON...Now our team have the CONFIDENCE to chace any SCORE like we had in 1996.

    Youngters like Thirimanne, Chandimal, Thisara showed how to perform and how to PLAY MORE POSITIVELY.I think this team is good for next AUSTRALIAN TOUR and MAHELA should be DROPPED...If we target next world cup these yongsters should be given more chances, so there SHOULD NOT BE A PLACE to MAHELA in the SQUAD as MOST OF US SRI LANKEN SPECTORS AGREED.

  • Johanan on January 23, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Its a superb win.Once again the new comers have starred.this is one proof what a gud batsman thirmane is & the 6 by senenayake was awesome under pressure.sanga also played brilliantly with dilshan & Tharanga.other than the 4 sixes smith hit off senanayake bowled well.take him for the auss trip.he is a player for the future.dnt take Mendis /Dilhara.take jeevan mendis.well done SL.we were unlucky. or else we wud hv won the 3rd ODI also. Anushman Wattala

  • jmcilhinney on January 23, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    I think SL would rue their dismal collapse in the first game too, given that all the others were close-fought affairs. Maybe SL should learn to play Test cricket from England and they could teach them how to play ODIs in return.

  • zerotollerance on January 23, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    Awesome batting display by sri Lanka. Second odi victory without mahela. It's time to play chandimal and tirimanne together. They showed what they can do. Please don't change this squad for AUS tour. Don't change captaincy also. Dilshan looks like a nervous wreck, but he gives 100 percent to th SL team. He deserves to be captain. Don't ever bring mahela gain please. It's time for the young guys now. Poof already there by the two wins.

  • on January 23, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    All credit goes to the SL ..well done ..

  • dsklokuge on January 23, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    Last night we had a impressive game . Srilankan chased 300 + in two consecutive matches against South Africa. Whether they started a dump innings in 1 st ODI . after that they player really good games in last 4 matches . I believe they are keeping their standard that was appear during world cup 2011 series. 3 youngsters made really good contribution to team in this tour . They were really brave against South Africa.If rain didn't come to 3rd ODI , surely tournament would be end up with 3-2 ( sri lanka win ) .We are really happy because youngsters bloomed this series .

  • anver777 on January 23, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    A good confident booster before the Commonwealth Series in Aus....... if SL continue to play positive cricket like this, then they can do wanders in Aus !! Well played & keep up the excellent work !!!!!

  • on January 23, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Well... ! Finally our top order came out of the shell and played their usual game. That was what we needed from the very beginning. Then it would have been a different story. Though we lost the both series, the boys did a good job in SA, in different pitches and consoled us. Really happy to see the way our youngsters played. Cheers. ..! Well done our Team..!!!

  • PAKISTAN_GREAT_ZINDABAD on January 23, 2012, 4:03 GMT

    well wishes from Pakistan. always feel happy on your win.srilanka zindabad.

  • on January 23, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Great win for SL, we performed as a Team and the result shows it. Best wishes for the tour Down under and yes this format suits us better

  • ub_prasa on January 23, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    Is this the first time that loosing team scored two individual centuries in an ODI???

  • on January 23, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    Thriller............... Must see.................***.............. Super............

  • on January 23, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    After dropping Mahela .... SL Looks good......

  • VK_MSD_IND_Champs on January 23, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    AWESOME! SriLankan Lions have finally OUTPLAYED "chokers" and showed the others THAT THEY CAN CHASE EVEN 300+ (did it consecutively) without any hesitance in those PACEY SOUTH AFRICAN PITCHES. FELT REALLY SORRY about those "SO CALLED" 'WORLD'S BEST PACE ATTACK' when they were struggling to take wickets IN THEIR OWN TERRITORY (I have no IDEA how will they play in sub continent pitches AS THEY COULDN'T EVEN CAPITALIZE WHAT THEY WERE OFFERED in their OWN SOIL) FINALLY, "HAT'S OFF" TO ALL SRILANKAN PLAYERS WHO PROVED THAT THEY ARE MUCH BETTER THAN "BIG HEADED INDIANZ" WHO ARE AT THE MOMENT EXPECTING A WHITE WASH.. HAIL SRILANKA 4EVA & EVA..!

  • Echi on January 23, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    Well done Sri Lanka, Now the million Dollar Question is "Did rain save the South African's and gave them the series on the 17th?"

  • world.cricketer on January 23, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    why SA rested steyn and botha if they wanted to win 4-1 these two could have given SA winning chance more

  • Prem2248 on January 23, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    The No 3 -5 should be given to strokes filled young batsmen blessed with quick reflexes who can finished the job for the Team by removing both Mahela and Sangakkara from those most vital positions in the batting order, that doesn't throw their wicket away after getting well set and at the times their services are most needed. How many times have we seen these two veterans getting out reckless fashion in dragging the whole team into deep trouble as Sangakkara did yesterday? It is always difficult for a new batter to middle the ball from the first ball particularly at late hours of the day. It is very unreasonable for a quality batsman the class of Mthews being wasted in sending to bat very low down in the batting order. He could do the finishing job far better if he had given more time to get himself in like he did in Australia. The veteran players should be used in the middle-order because they're better placed to handle tough situations than a youngster.

  • ali00 on January 23, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    A very good Knock out from Sangkara and i congratulate him with Performance. Well Done Kumar

  • tennakoon63 on January 23, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    Good knock Sanga. You closed the tour with pride. Now take momentum to down under. All the best and good luck.

  • on January 23, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Sachithra's 6 was da "Icing on the cake" - Sanga...Though we hav lost da series, da second consecutive successful chase of a 300-plus target made lions on the track again =)

  • KingOwl on January 23, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    "Kumar Sangakkara set up the chase with only his second hundred in the second innings in ODIs. It is also the 13th occasion overall and the second time against South Africa that a Sri Lankan has scored a century in a successful chase (only matches outside the subcontinent)." Am I reading this correct? So, matches played in the sub continent are now EXCLUDED from statistics, are they? Is this some kind of a new apartheid?

  • Sinhaya on January 23, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Great to see the young players like Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Sachithra Senanayake step in for Sri Lanka. That is a great sign for the post Sanga Mahela era. Angelo Mathews is also well established as a youngster and hope we find another good fast bowler like Vaas asap.

  • BravoBravo on January 23, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    What a SIXER in penultimate ball of the game. Sennanayake, you beauty you did it. Congrats SL, SL could have won the ODI series had it not been for rain in 3rd ODI. I am pretty sure SL team will win the forthcoming triseries in AUS. They will be the best ODI team in Triseries (SL/AUS/IND). Good luck SL!

  • Blueangle on January 23, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    Congratulations team Sri-lanka. This was not the best tour you guys ever had but was not too bad either. I would say its quite an achievement to win a test and two ODI (chasing more than 300 runs twice). Keep the good stuff going. Best wishes from a Pakistani fan

  • on January 23, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Delighted to see the performances of youngsters. Dinesh, Lahiru , Sachith and Thisara should be given a regular place in the team.If not due to the rain in the third match we should have won the series.

  • on January 23, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Well done unpaid Cricketers! We are proud of you!

  • merandy on January 22, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    SL could have won the series if rain won the 3rd match for SA. Well done SL! This is what we need from SL batsmen. Finally they have started show their true colors. Unfortunately it's too late for this series. Keep your spirits high for the Aus series!

  • Ms.Cricket on January 22, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    Sri Lanka won their last two matches without Mahela Jayawardene. It is a lesson worth learning for all struggling teams to get rid of their white elephant non-performing older players and give youngsters a chance.

  • on January 22, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    de villiers ,,,talking abt white wash....may be u dont know sl team...45 all out does not mean white wash..this is the sl team who can perform miracles...if they really want their are fight to tooth and nail....thats y our team is sooo awesome....! sooo pls give some respect to world cup finalists....

  • on January 22, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Weldone Sri Lanka !!! Chased 300+ in two consecutive matches !!

  • on January 22, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    East or west Sri Lanka is the best !

    Srilankan s best performances yet to be come.

    May be on Triangular series in Australia.

    wait & see...........................

  • Penny71 on January 22, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Well done SL. Just as I predicted SL bounced back but with mistakes which need to be looked in to. If Sanga and Mahela was not run out by Chandimal in 3rd Match, and Mathews did not wasted the valuable balls in last overs in matche 2, SL could have ended this series 4:1. But SL has shown much more determination than SA who were with home and crowd advantage. Despite rain giving the series to SA, we can actually think SL won this series unofficially and looks the better team of the series.

    Thirimanna and Chadimal are the new finds for SL who has brighter future. Mathews seriously need to clean up his act and has failed to deliver what he is capable of.

  • on January 22, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    i am from Pakistan..and i love sri team...i think they should make sangakara caption again...

  • on January 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    If not for the interference of the rain Srilanka would have won the series.Any way they are back on track.Dont blame only Dilshan for the poor perfomance during the first two games.This is cricket.

  • lananad on January 22, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Srilanka is in team rebuilding stage. This is a big confident booter and great achivement. They will do well in Australia next month. SHAME on SA and Kepler W. They think that they are like Australia. They can't come close to Australia. Before talking big first win a big tournament and win high pressure games. This is the same team could not chase 220 vs NZ considered a weak team according to Kepler. SL is a weak team for him. Mr. Kepler just look back SL won many tournaments and has done very well in high pressure games. What have SA done??? one word...CHOAKERS....Last 2 ODIs clearly show when SL chased down 300 + in their own backyard that they have issues with their bowling.Bottom line SA has a loooong way to prove that they are a top class side.

  • JChandi on January 22, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    This series proved one thing to me, by wining a test match and wining two ODIs chasing 300 plus in SA, SL is the best sub continent team to play against any pace attack in the world. SA pace bowlers look pritty ordinary against batting of Tharanga,Dilshan, Thisara and Sanaga.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 22, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    I THINK INDIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE PITCHES ARE SO GOOD FOR BATTING THAT ANY TEAM CAN EASILY CHASE 300 , BUT I WAS WRONG .

  • Nathan_123 on January 22, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Grate win by SL. This match was a real nail biter. By wining the last 2 ODI's by chasing 300 plus runs, SL without a doubt ended this series on a high note. Not to mention the historic first ever test win in SA in the 2nd test was the highlight for me of this tour. As for SA they have big holes that needs immediate attention. For a starters SA media and the commentators should stop over estimating their team. after all SA is not a grate team when you get teams like SL coming to their back yard and beating them.

  • yorkslanka on January 22, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Well done to Sri Lanka on a fantastic win..you made me worry at the end but we got there eventually..pretty good going to chase down 300+ twice in the week..of only the rain hadn't intervened in the third match, we might have been celebrating a series win..well done to SA by the way on the series win ,glad to see we competed at least..very impressed with thirimanne,who did really well considering his age..things look promising with chandimal,thirimanne,tharanga,Mathews all being young...

  • Herath-UK on January 22, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Lankans can leave the SAfrican shores head held high with a maiden Test victory and a near ODI series win prevented only by the cruel weather.They found young batters and bowlers who could be trusted to fill the boots of the seniors.Thisara 's big hittings are real cricketing shots who should be groomed to take the mantle of a good allrounder.This begs the question were the authorities too soon to replace the coach. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • on January 22, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    wow, what a bombastic performance by SL as no one was expecting it, however, its bit too late but in cricket its never too late... Dilshan still needs to be replaced i suppose i don't know but i think Sanga is a better choice so far. mykhan

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  • on January 22, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    wow, what a bombastic performance by SL as no one was expecting it, however, its bit too late but in cricket its never too late... Dilshan still needs to be replaced i suppose i don't know but i think Sanga is a better choice so far. mykhan

  • Herath-UK on January 22, 2012, 19:55 GMT

    Lankans can leave the SAfrican shores head held high with a maiden Test victory and a near ODI series win prevented only by the cruel weather.They found young batters and bowlers who could be trusted to fill the boots of the seniors.Thisara 's big hittings are real cricketing shots who should be groomed to take the mantle of a good allrounder.This begs the question were the authorities too soon to replace the coach. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • yorkslanka on January 22, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    Well done to Sri Lanka on a fantastic win..you made me worry at the end but we got there eventually..pretty good going to chase down 300+ twice in the week..of only the rain hadn't intervened in the third match, we might have been celebrating a series win..well done to SA by the way on the series win ,glad to see we competed at least..very impressed with thirimanne,who did really well considering his age..things look promising with chandimal,thirimanne,tharanga,Mathews all being young...

  • Nathan_123 on January 22, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Grate win by SL. This match was a real nail biter. By wining the last 2 ODI's by chasing 300 plus runs, SL without a doubt ended this series on a high note. Not to mention the historic first ever test win in SA in the 2nd test was the highlight for me of this tour. As for SA they have big holes that needs immediate attention. For a starters SA media and the commentators should stop over estimating their team. after all SA is not a grate team when you get teams like SL coming to their back yard and beating them.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 22, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    I THINK INDIA IS THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE PITCHES ARE SO GOOD FOR BATTING THAT ANY TEAM CAN EASILY CHASE 300 , BUT I WAS WRONG .

  • JChandi on January 22, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    This series proved one thing to me, by wining a test match and wining two ODIs chasing 300 plus in SA, SL is the best sub continent team to play against any pace attack in the world. SA pace bowlers look pritty ordinary against batting of Tharanga,Dilshan, Thisara and Sanaga.

  • lananad on January 22, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Srilanka is in team rebuilding stage. This is a big confident booter and great achivement. They will do well in Australia next month. SHAME on SA and Kepler W. They think that they are like Australia. They can't come close to Australia. Before talking big first win a big tournament and win high pressure games. This is the same team could not chase 220 vs NZ considered a weak team according to Kepler. SL is a weak team for him. Mr. Kepler just look back SL won many tournaments and has done very well in high pressure games. What have SA done??? one word...CHOAKERS....Last 2 ODIs clearly show when SL chased down 300 + in their own backyard that they have issues with their bowling.Bottom line SA has a loooong way to prove that they are a top class side.

  • on January 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    If not for the interference of the rain Srilanka would have won the series.Any way they are back on track.Dont blame only Dilshan for the poor perfomance during the first two games.This is cricket.

  • on January 22, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    i am from Pakistan..and i love sri team...i think they should make sangakara caption again...

  • Penny71 on January 22, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    Well done SL. Just as I predicted SL bounced back but with mistakes which need to be looked in to. If Sanga and Mahela was not run out by Chandimal in 3rd Match, and Mathews did not wasted the valuable balls in last overs in matche 2, SL could have ended this series 4:1. But SL has shown much more determination than SA who were with home and crowd advantage. Despite rain giving the series to SA, we can actually think SL won this series unofficially and looks the better team of the series.

    Thirimanna and Chadimal are the new finds for SL who has brighter future. Mathews seriously need to clean up his act and has failed to deliver what he is capable of.