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

AB masters the scoop

Plays of the Day for the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa
24

Celebration of the day
Graeme Smith has not had a moment like this since 2009. After mistiming, slamming with power but no placement and eventually settling into his usual rhythm of muscular blows and meaty punches, Smith nudged one around the corner to bring his first ODI century in 28 months. The joy overflowed as he ran to the edge of the circle, took his helmet off and pointed his bat at the South African changeroom for what seemed like the entire length of his cricketing career. On realising that Smith was not moving, AB de Villiers made to his way to his former captain to give him a congratulatory hug. When de Villiers released him, Smith stayed with his arms in the air and rotated around the whole stadium, saluting the fans who, at the start of the season, booed him at this very venue.

The AB scoop
Unlike the Sri Lankan captain, AB de Villiers does not have a shot named after him, yet. After this innings he should. With a view to accelerating South Africa's score when Albie Morkel was dismissed, de Villiers tested one of his more audacious strokes in the penultimate over. Thisara Perera tried to bowl full outside off but de Villiers had walked so far away from his stumps, he was almost on the grass. He swivelled, angled his bat and scooped the ball over fine leg for six. The next ball, just for good measure, he did it again. The AB scoop had arrived.

Drop of the day
Morne Morkel has put down a few this series but one of his more difficult chances was the opportunity Upul Tharanga presented him with in his second over. He slammed a length ball straight back at Morkel. Although it was at catchable height, the force behind it was too much and the ball struck Morkel's left hand hard. He couldn't hold on it and immediately called for the physiotherapist. Not only did Morkel concede three runs but he had to leave the field to have the strapping put on. JP Duminy completed the over and Morkel returned for the next one, with his ring finger wrapped up.

Mop up of the day
While neither bowling side could dry up the runs, the Wanderers groundstaff once again proved to be the most efficient mops. With Highveld thunderstorms expected at this time of year, when the skies darkened and the heavens opened, most of the locals nodded sagely, expecting a short, sharp shower. When the rain came down at 3pm, with no wind in the air, it seemed it would be much longer. Fortunately, a breeze soon arrived and conditions lightened. As soon as they did, the staff were in their positions, commandeering the super sopper and sweeping water off the covers. Within 55 minutes, the rain had stopped, the ground was dry and play resumed.

Air snatch of the day
South Africa's series has been characterised by superb catching and there was yet another during this match. Lonwabo Tsotsobe relied on variation to try and take wickets and tried the slower ball against Tharanga. The Sri Lankan opener slashed and found an outside edge that looped towards cover. Duminy had to turn around and run away from the pitch but had gone a little too far and eventually had to snatch the ball out of the air over his shoulder. He did to complete a picture-perfect dismissal.

Deft touch of the day
With Kumar Sangakkara holding things together on his end, it was up to the rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen to whittle down the chase. None of them appeared overly panicked by the task and Lahiru Thirimanne's shot at that start of the 36th over captured the relative calm. Tsotsobe bowled a slightly wide, length ball and the Sri Lankan No. 5 guided it off the face to third man. It was delicate and elegant, the way Sri Lankan greats like Mahela Jayawardene play the game.

Game-change of the day
Robin Peterson threatened to perform the ultimate anti-choke when he took two wickets in three balls in the final over. But the match took its final twist in the tail when Sachitra Senananyake flat batted him for six. The youngster only made his debut one match ago and faced a loud Bull Ring crowd but kept his cool to win the match for Sri Lanka and take their margin of defeat in the series to just one.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rongranu22 on January 24, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    @ ballumlakka AB shows his spirit in test matches he trust the player when he was 99...... but we want to say some thing about ms.moonda, because she heavily one sided when writing articles, she better to write some things like review SA 2011 or some individual articles about their own players..................

  • MaraudingJ on January 23, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    Is it just me or is AB de Villiers playing on an entirely different plane from the rest of the cricketing world in ODIs over the past couple of years? Since February 2010 he's played 31 ODIs, averaging 73.3 at a strike rate well over 101, with 8 centuries and 8 fifties. Add to this his superlative fielding skills and now the dual wicket-keeper/captaincy role, and you see why he might just be the most valuable one-day player on the planet right now. No need to name a shot after the man - I say name an award after him instead!

  • on January 23, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    On "AB Scoop" , that was normal 'paddle sweep' :)

  • pappadu on January 23, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    What's more? deVil scoop sounds a lot cooler than Dil Scoop!!

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    No body can touch it...IT'S DIL-SCOOP 4ever!! Only batsman to invent a stroke for the cricketing world after Englishmen. And thr are 2 bowlers who did it...thats Murali and Mendis - Doosra and Carom Ball ! Sri Lankans keep bringing changes to this beautiful game just as Sanath n Kalu brought the powerplay hitting style in 1st 15 overs....!

  • KelvinLTR on January 23, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    the defense of the day must be added :D gave me a heartattack!!

  • Lion_96 on January 23, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    I honestly thought we had lost it after Thirimanne got out. There would have been a couple TV sets smashed had we not got over the line last night haha

  • on January 23, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Please, Firdose, let's not follow the sub-continent craze of naming shots after oneself, especially not for a player like AB who can play all the shots and more. Well done to Sri Lanka for two great run chases to end the series. It's been entertaining and there have been some real finds for them on this tour notably Chandimal.

  • on January 23, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    he he he ! that is not the DILSCOOP!. DILSCOOP goes over the head of the keeper! hihihihihi

  • Balumekka on January 23, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    I had utmost respect to AB as a gentleman before this match. It was quite obvious to everybody that Perera got out to a waist high (in fact chest high) pull toss from Duminy which should have been called a no-ball easily. Perera was clearly on his crease and replays confirmed that ball was above waist. However, umpires denied that. Although batsman and dressing room was unhappy about that, South Africans went on for celebrations. AB should have call the batsman back and show his spirit, which he didn't!

  • rongranu22 on January 24, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    @ ballumlakka AB shows his spirit in test matches he trust the player when he was 99...... but we want to say some thing about ms.moonda, because she heavily one sided when writing articles, she better to write some things like review SA 2011 or some individual articles about their own players..................

  • MaraudingJ on January 23, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    Is it just me or is AB de Villiers playing on an entirely different plane from the rest of the cricketing world in ODIs over the past couple of years? Since February 2010 he's played 31 ODIs, averaging 73.3 at a strike rate well over 101, with 8 centuries and 8 fifties. Add to this his superlative fielding skills and now the dual wicket-keeper/captaincy role, and you see why he might just be the most valuable one-day player on the planet right now. No need to name a shot after the man - I say name an award after him instead!

  • on January 23, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    On "AB Scoop" , that was normal 'paddle sweep' :)

  • pappadu on January 23, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    What's more? deVil scoop sounds a lot cooler than Dil Scoop!!

  • on January 23, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    No body can touch it...IT'S DIL-SCOOP 4ever!! Only batsman to invent a stroke for the cricketing world after Englishmen. And thr are 2 bowlers who did it...thats Murali and Mendis - Doosra and Carom Ball ! Sri Lankans keep bringing changes to this beautiful game just as Sanath n Kalu brought the powerplay hitting style in 1st 15 overs....!

  • KelvinLTR on January 23, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    the defense of the day must be added :D gave me a heartattack!!

  • Lion_96 on January 23, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    I honestly thought we had lost it after Thirimanne got out. There would have been a couple TV sets smashed had we not got over the line last night haha

  • on January 23, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Please, Firdose, let's not follow the sub-continent craze of naming shots after oneself, especially not for a player like AB who can play all the shots and more. Well done to Sri Lanka for two great run chases to end the series. It's been entertaining and there have been some real finds for them on this tour notably Chandimal.

  • on January 23, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    he he he ! that is not the DILSCOOP!. DILSCOOP goes over the head of the keeper! hihihihihi

  • Balumekka on January 23, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    I had utmost respect to AB as a gentleman before this match. It was quite obvious to everybody that Perera got out to a waist high (in fact chest high) pull toss from Duminy which should have been called a no-ball easily. Perera was clearly on his crease and replays confirmed that ball was above waist. However, umpires denied that. Although batsman and dressing room was unhappy about that, South Africans went on for celebrations. AB should have call the batsman back and show his spirit, which he didn't!

  • on January 23, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    On 'AB Scoop' , it was normal paddle sweep :)

  • rahulcricket007 on January 23, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    BUT I PREFER DILSCOOP BETTER THAN AB SCOOP . DILSHAN PLAYED THAT SHOT WITH ABSOLUTELY STRAIGHT OVER HIS HEAD .

  • on January 23, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Sachithra defended the first ball in a choking situation, and lapped-six the next one! wow, talk about cool!

  • priceless1 on January 23, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Ms Moonda lady should be happy now, Throughout the series she wanted to see SL beating SA comprehensively and they did finally

  • on January 23, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    There is no AB Scoop! Get it right! Cuz Dilshan started the Dil Scoop, ergo, get another shot AB! :P

  • Ms.Cricket on January 22, 2012, 23:31 GMT

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

  • johnathonjosephs on January 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Dilshan really should be sacked as the captain. His fielding placements were ridiculous, especially when South Africa were accelerating. Also, his handling of Perera is very very ridiculous. Perera is an all rounder and his bowling is not top class. You do not put your part timers in your first 20 overs (with powerplays) and all. And that is just what Dilshan did, letting Perera bowl only one non-powerplay over in the 16/17 over.... That said, good job to Thirimanne under pressure and Sachitra looks very good. Half the balls that AB and Graeme tried smashing off Sachitra they missed out and hit the pad (no LBW because he gets too much bounce) and the other half they hit for 6. Not bad considering there was barely any spin and he still managed a RR 5.1

  • Wexfordwonder on January 22, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    well done to Sri Lanka, well fought and well done. i hope things go well for Sri lanka in 2012. It promises to be an nteresting cricket year.

  • on January 22, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    two times sri lanka has gone past 300 ageinst SA,,,,,,, evan they rested kalis and amla they had good runs in both the games,,, they only mising stayn from the bowling so if sri lanka with thir form can win by scoring 300+ .SA will be in truble in NZ and against ENGLAND ,,,,,

  • on January 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Sri lankan young brigade - Chandimal , Mathews , Lahiru , Tharanga , Bhanuka & Tissara look super good for future !

  • Dilruksh on January 22, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    well i would say dilshan is better than AB n he dus it in style there is nothing than the dil scoop

  • Dilruksh on January 22, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    but nothing like dil scoop.

  • espnchekmate on January 22, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Fantastic win for Sri Lanka,but should have finished da game in style(314/3 ,sanga 115 thirimanne 71) like the previous 1.It's not nice blaming Sangakkara 4 da late collapse but,as da senior pro @ tht tm it was his responsibility 2 stay not out ,without letting 2 da incoming batsman,as it could be tough in a crunch game like this,specially after a previous chase two days ago. never da less players like thisara perera,dinesh chandimal,angelo mathews,sachithra senanayake and lahiru thirimanne it would be a good platform for these guys to go 2 Australia and perform under more intense mind blogging conditions,remember Aussies are solid in wht they do. thisara perera has to develop a more intelectual mechanism where he can use in all 3 formats with out blasting every ball,he has 2 emulate david warner when batting & be consistent like him in da highest level rather than playing 1 gud knock once in a blue moon to secure a victory 4 sri lanka.mathews has to act like da cool customer.

  • KingOwl on January 22, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    "Ultimate anti-choke" - that's a good one! You should copyright that!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • KingOwl on January 22, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    "Ultimate anti-choke" - that's a good one! You should copyright that!

  • espnchekmate on January 22, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Fantastic win for Sri Lanka,but should have finished da game in style(314/3 ,sanga 115 thirimanne 71) like the previous 1.It's not nice blaming Sangakkara 4 da late collapse but,as da senior pro @ tht tm it was his responsibility 2 stay not out ,without letting 2 da incoming batsman,as it could be tough in a crunch game like this,specially after a previous chase two days ago. never da less players like thisara perera,dinesh chandimal,angelo mathews,sachithra senanayake and lahiru thirimanne it would be a good platform for these guys to go 2 Australia and perform under more intense mind blogging conditions,remember Aussies are solid in wht they do. thisara perera has to develop a more intelectual mechanism where he can use in all 3 formats with out blasting every ball,he has 2 emulate david warner when batting & be consistent like him in da highest level rather than playing 1 gud knock once in a blue moon to secure a victory 4 sri lanka.mathews has to act like da cool customer.

  • Dilruksh on January 22, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    but nothing like dil scoop.

  • Dilruksh on January 22, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    well i would say dilshan is better than AB n he dus it in style there is nothing than the dil scoop

  • on January 22, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Sri lankan young brigade - Chandimal , Mathews , Lahiru , Tharanga , Bhanuka & Tissara look super good for future !

  • on January 22, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    two times sri lanka has gone past 300 ageinst SA,,,,,,, evan they rested kalis and amla they had good runs in both the games,,, they only mising stayn from the bowling so if sri lanka with thir form can win by scoring 300+ .SA will be in truble in NZ and against ENGLAND ,,,,,

  • Wexfordwonder on January 22, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    well done to Sri Lanka, well fought and well done. i hope things go well for Sri lanka in 2012. It promises to be an nteresting cricket year.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Dilshan really should be sacked as the captain. His fielding placements were ridiculous, especially when South Africa were accelerating. Also, his handling of Perera is very very ridiculous. Perera is an all rounder and his bowling is not top class. You do not put your part timers in your first 20 overs (with powerplays) and all. And that is just what Dilshan did, letting Perera bowl only one non-powerplay over in the 16/17 over.... That said, good job to Thirimanne under pressure and Sachitra looks very good. Half the balls that AB and Graeme tried smashing off Sachitra they missed out and hit the pad (no LBW because he gets too much bounce) and the other half they hit for 6. Not bad considering there was barely any spin and he still managed a RR 5.1

  • Ms.Cricket on January 22, 2012, 23:31 GMT

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

  • on January 23, 2012, 1:49 GMT

    There is no AB Scoop! Get it right! Cuz Dilshan started the Dil Scoop, ergo, get another shot AB! :P