Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st T20I, Colombo August 2, 2013

Duminy helps South Africa pull off heist


South Africa 115 for 6 (Duminy 51, Senanayake 3-14) beat Sri Lanka 103 for 9 (Sangakkara 59*, Duminy 3-18) by 12 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Replay the manner in which South Africa were defeated four times on their tour of Sri Lanka so far and you would have expected them to lose this match as well. The top order failed, the middle order was exposed but only just hung together and the bowlers had too little to work with. But this time, they pulled off a heist despite all their deficiencies.

JP Duminy followed up his half-century with a match-winning bowling performance while Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell finally showed capabilities of bowling at the death. Kumar Sangakkara's 59 was one of only two double-figure scores on Sri Lanka's card as the rest battled on a slow surface.

South African fans would not have expected that, after their team seemed to have lost the match before the first innings powerplay was even complete. Sri Lanka's offspinner Sachithra Senanayake plucked three wickets from a top order that has yet to find their confidence. Their bowlers, though, had theirs boosted after they defended a low total which required Sri Lanka to score just 37 runs in the last five overs.

Sri Lanka looked set to chase down the total without much fuss when they scored 13 runs in the first two overs. Kusal Perera showed attacking intent but his temperament gave way when he mis-hit Morne Morkel to point.

Dinesh Chandimal also seemed in a hurry. He hit two boundaries before bottom-edging Lonwabo Tsotsobe, after struggling with the extra bounce.

With early setbacks, Sri Lanka's seniors Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara knuckled down and tried to pick singles off Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir. But all the patience Dilshan showed in the ODI series vanished when Duminy was introduced, as in an attempt to take the bowler on, Dilshan only managed to offer AB de Villiers a catch at long-on.

Sri Lanka needed to score 70 runs in the second-half of their innings but with the in-form Sangakkara at the crease, they would have thought it more than possible. While he found the boundary, the rest found the fielders.

Angelo Mathews gave Duminy a tame return catch and then Jeevan Mendis swept him to deep square leg the next ball. Duminy didn't complete a hat-trick but he wouldn't mind that.

Lahiru Thirimanne and Thisara Perera holed out within six balls of each other and suddenly, South Africa had the upper-hand. With 21 runs to defend off 12 balls, Parnell mixed up his pace in a double-wicket maiden and Morkel bowled a few full to ensure run-scoring opportunities were unavailable. Sangakkara hit two fours off the last over but he could not do it alone and in the end, Sri Lanka ended up with a worse batting performance than South Africa.

That hardly seemed possible after Senanayake's start. He exposed Quinton de Kock's inexperience and had the young wicket-keeper batsman playing down the wrong line to one that straightened to get him lbw.

Henry Davids also could not read Senanayake. After trying to work him to leg and push him to cover, he went for the sweep to a full delivery and was trapped in front. And then, Faf du Plessis' lean series became leaner. After constant shuffling at the crease, he tried to play inside the line of a straighter one and was bowled.

De Villiers and JP Duminy posted a small stand of 27 and Duminy took on the responsibility of anchoring the innings. He hung around for long enough to accelerate slightly and along with David Miller, helped South Africa manage 21 runs off the 16th and 17th over.

Miller became Lasith Malinga's 50th T20 victim but Duminy notched up a more favourable record. He brought up his fifty with a slog-sweep off an Ajantha Mendis full toss, which took over 1,000 T20 runs and made him South Africa's leading scorer in the format, overtaking Graeme Smith, and giving the team a morale-boosting win during a tough tour.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • indy on August 4, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    chandimal should be sacked... He is not a T20 player

  • Ranjit on August 3, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    @Blade-Runner ; I know that Sanga is one hell of a player in this generation but I think we all know that Sanga is not a great finisher, plus I have watched the whole SA v SL series and I noticed that Sanga is at his TOP form & I've seen him scoring more than 20 runs an over but that doesn't change the fact of him not being a hard hitter.I admit that he has faced one of the best bowlers in the world but I doubt that he can finish the game if he has faced other than Morne.Anyway having said everything doesn't change the fact that Sangakkara is one of the best and great players in all three formats to be honest.Good luck SL in the upcoming matches and hope the selectors put the right players in their right places :)

  • John on August 3, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    @Ranjit_Perera ; Dude, if you watched previous games, you wouldn't say that Sanga can't score 15+ in an over. Are you kidding ? It was just that he was facing one of the best bowlers in the world. No batsman in the world would have scored 21 runs off Morkel in a situation like that.

  • Ranjit on August 3, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    All of you are talking about Faf's good captaincy, Duminy's mature contribution or Morne's best last over but no one has talked about the brilliance of Parnell's 19th over.I mean that was the deciding over to finish the match, he took 2 wickets hence increased the pressure on Sanga + he bowlled a maiden (4 dots plus 2 wkts) hence double increase the pressure on Sanga + he kept Sanga off the strike which completely put a loads of pressure on Sanga.For me that was the finishing or death moment for srilanka because I already knew that Sanga is not a hard hitter batsmen so there was no way in heaven or earth that he can score 15+ runs in one over and that also was in a t20 match.

  • Yohan on August 3, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    Our team needs to get rids passengers . We are not able to win the matches we should coz of them . What is Jeewan Mendis has been doing for last one year ? Does he really need to slog the very first ball ? Does Thrimanne need a six being last recognized batsmen with Sanga? Why Mathews can' t rotate the strike ? If youngsters can' t overcome easy situation like this , it s awful . Selectors please don't overfeed youngsters too much coz they are taking it for granted . Even captain and V.C should not be guaranteed a place unless they justify themselves .

  • Zak on August 3, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    As much as I have panned the Proteas for their dismal ODI series, I said at the beginning of this match that this is more like the team that should have been picked in the first place, even for ODIs. Replace Davids with Amla, Parnell with McLaren/Morris and Faf with Ingram.

  • achint on August 3, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    That's the difference between sanga and MSD. In tri series final, MSD was in the same situation with ishant and he won it. Sanga was in exactly same situation with mendis but he was not able to win it.

  • mark on August 3, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    careless batting of SL players threw away another easy win which would have helped to lead the series 1-0.. it seems SL struggling chasing low scores rather than formidable ones..except for Mathews/Sanga all others played totally unnecessary shots to get out...simply they gave SA a chance.SL tailenders has no any skill or intent to atleast score a single and give strike to a better batsmen. SL need to change this batting coach.. in the past SL tailenders made some useful contribution by batting in crucial moments, but now they've just become walking wickets, coming to crease for the sake of coming and getting out....good fight back by SA, a feature of quality side. hope SL will come back strongly in next 2 matches to win the series though its tuff now. good luck!!

  • Vinod on August 3, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    No point mentioning that Lankan batting is totally dependent on Sanga and partly on Jayawardena+Dilshan. If they fail, Lankans just cannot win. Even yesterday Lankan batsmen barring Sanga scored around 40 runs combinedly. Chandimal is poor batsman and so is Thirimane. Mathews is neither a specialist batsman, nor a specialist bowler. Tharanga performs once in 10 matches. Dark Days ahead after retirement of Sanga, Jayawardena and Dilshan.

  • Altaf on August 3, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Moral boosting win for SA, being at No.6 in ICC T20 ranking, beaten No.1. Great patience and skills displayed by Duminy. Congrates SA...!