Sri Lanka v South Africa, 4th ODI, Pallekele July 28, 2013

Dilshan's would-be wide

Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa

The would-be wide
Tillakaratne Dilshan has found crucial wickets during the series, and he did so again in Pallekele, first trapping an imperious Hashim Amla lbw, and claiming AB de Villiers' wicket as well, off a much poorer delivery. Bowling from around the wicket, Dilshan pitched a length delivery outside leg stump, and turned it further away from the right-handed batsman, for what should have been a regulation wide-call for the umpire. But instead of leaving the ball alone or sweeping it powerfully, de Villiers played a lap-sweep, for which he might have only got two runs, and ended up deflecting the ball off the face of the bat and into Kumar Sangakkara's waiting gloves.

The fielding change
Having never played against Ajantha Mendis before, Farhaan Behardien lasted only two deliveries before he was bowled by the Sri Lankan spinner in the third ODI, and thanks to a clever change in the field his stay was even shorter in this match. Mendis removed David Miller early in the 38th over, and as soon as Behardien arrived, captain and bowler colluded to place a slip and a short leg - the latter particularly strange given the match situation. Behardien defended the first ball safely, but when Mendis dropped an off-break slightly shorter next delivery, the ball took slightly more turn than the batsman anticipated and his attempted clip to the leg side became a straightforward catch for short leg, off the inside half of the bat.

The sweep
If the batsman is good enough though, a fielding change can also be an opportunity. With Lasith Malinga going full and wide to JP Duminy in the 46th over, Mathews thought to remove the man at midwicket in order to reinforce his defences square on the off side. Having seen the now vacant space between square leg and mid-on, Duminy found a way to exploit the large gap, despite a well-executed full delivery from Malinga. Moving across his stumps, Duminy got low, and swept Malinga, changing the length from yorker to full toss, and sending the ball screaming through almost exactly where midwicket had stood.

The missed review
Having seen Kumar Sangakkara strike a walloping 169 in the first match of the series, you'd think South Africa would use everything at their disposal to cut his innings short. But despite having used reviews speculatively throughout the series, they barely even considered reviewing the umpire's decision, when JP Duminy rapped Sangakkara on the pads in the 26th over. South Africa appealed vigorously, but when the umpire turned them down quickly, neither bowler nor keeper appeared confident of overturning the decision. The projected path however showed that the ball would have struck enough of the leg stump to send Sangakkara on his way for 33.

The misfields
Lonwabo Tsotsobe dropped a sitter in the second match that AB de Villiers later said had had the potential to lose the game, and though no aerial chances came his way on Sunday, he committed two comical fielding errors in five balls, just after he had conceded 25 runs in his last two overs. Fielding at fine leg, Tsotsobe first let a Dilshan pull go between his legs and to the fence, before early next over, he went to his knees at short fine leg to collect another Dilshan swivel-shot, only to let the ball bounce through him and travel to the boundary again.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NaniIndCri on July 29, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    @LALITHKURUWITA if take big 5 out any team will be weak :). That is why they are called big.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 29, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    @Viney Rao,

    Take Big 5 out of the team and see SL team.

  • Blade-Runner on July 29, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @spas ; I thought so too that Dilshan hit an unnecessary boundary after getting his century. That put much pressure on Sanga to hurry for his 100 . I think that every player should go for their personal goals as long as it doesn't effect the team goals. Sanga surely deserved to get his century yesterday. It would have been awesome.

  • dummy4fb on July 29, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    srilanka at home very very gud team they almost won in australia triseries also.

  • spas on July 29, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    I thought there was a strange change in Sri Lankan attitude about personal milestones when Dilshan was hurrying towards the (team) target. But Sangakkara's unnecessary slogging in his last few balls proved otherwise. Many of my friends (I am a Sri Lankan) feel that Dilshan scored "unnecessary" boundaries after reaching his hundred but in my opinion those personal milestones should be less prioritised. Save that both the guys played splendidly. Hope SL would do another change in the batting order to let Chandimal & Thiri to play a longer innings.

  • Lalindra2012 on July 28, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    The perception in the sri lankan cricketing fraternity is that when we tour South Africa we would get a 5 -0 nil drubbing in the ODI's and when South Africa tour Sri Lanka the latter would have a taste of it's own medicine. but when Sri Lanka last toured South Africa Sri Lanka nearly won the ODI series 3-2 had it not for been the unfortunate middle game in that last ODI Series in SF. And also the fact Sri Lanka twice in succession chased down 300+ plus scores was also a plus point and showed Sri Lanka was up to the task even in alien conditions in SF. SO this go to show that Sri Lanka is the more fancied side when it comes to ODI's out of the two. South Africa should feel lucky that they haven't lost the series 5-0 and that their 2nd win came after 20 years.

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