Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st ODI, Colombo July 20, 2013

Sri Lanka thrash South Africa by 180 runs

101

Sri Lanka 320 for 5 (Sangakkara 169, Morkel 2-34) beat South Africa 140 (Herath 3-25, Perera 3-31) by 180 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was not exactly 624 but Kumar Sangakkara's career-best had a similar effect as the 2006 record stand he put on with Mahela Jawaywardene against the same opposition seven years ago. Sangakkara's 169 was his 16th ODI century, the highest score by a Sri Lankan batsman at home, which sent him past Ian Bell as the second highest run-scorer in ODIs this year and took his 2013 average to 75.55. It was also the difference between the two sides at the Premadasa Stadium.

Sangakkara dominated the South African attack with unusual aggression. He built his innings to a crescendo, scoring 66 runs off the first 91 balls and 103 from the next 46 and bulleted the leg side with boundaries. Almost 78% of his runs - 131 - came on the on side.

He made all South African bowlers - from their seamers who persisted with the short ball to their sitting duck trio of spinners - appear ineffectual and set their batsmen a target that would require them to complete the highest successful chase at the ground. That set Sri Lanka up to subject South Africa to their second-biggest loss and begin Russell Domingo's tenure on a difficult note.

South Africa went into the fixture understaffed, with Lonwabo Tsotsobe unfit for selection and Hashim Amla missing out because of an overnight neck problem. But they also seemed underprepared despite a week of training on the island.

Morne Morkel and Chris Morris bowled 19 deliveries between them in the first two overs because of the seven wides they sent down. To add insult to that ill-discipline, Morkel had Upul Tharanga dropped on nought by Alviro Petersen in the first over after the quick changed angles to round the wicket as he tried to find his line.

Morris discovered his soon after and bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan for 10 but Tharanga was there to remind South Africa what an error can cost. He took advantage of any width and put on 70 with Sangakkara before inside edging onto his stumps off Morkel.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene evoked even more memories of 2006 in their stint at the crease together. In their 74-run stand, Jayawardene dispatched the short ball at will while Sangakkara dealt with the spinners. Jayawardene succumbed to the pull but left Sangakkara to inflict the bulk of the damage.

Sangakkara imposed his authority in the latter third of the innings. Lahiru Thirimanne scored just 17 runs in a 123-run stand with Sangakkara, who hit audacious shots like the scoop and had some fortune with his edges. Already on a magical run this year, Sangakkara took that to new heights against an attack that ran out of ideas.

Thisara Perera's cameo at the end allowed Sri Lanka to take 103 runs off the last 10 overs and saw Sri Lanka post a total South Africa were never in with a chance of chasing.

Colin Ingram, opening in place of Amla, was out for a golden duck as his defences were absent against a perfect, inswinging Lasith Malinga yorker. Duminy, who was in a new role at No. 3 and playing his 100th ODI, dealt with Malinga better and hit him for two fours in the fifth over. Just as he looked good, he outside edged off Shaminda Eranga and Sangakkara reacted outstandingly to take a one-handed catch, low down.

Petersen showed why he should be considered in the openers' role more permanently with a watchful knock. Along with AB de Villiers, who was dropped by Eranga off his own bowling on 4, he made a South African challenge seem possible. De Villiers drove well and looked comfortable until Rangana Herath was brought on.

Sri Lanka's go-to man produced a delivery that angled into de VIlliers and bowled him as he played inside the line. Petersen, who was joint top-scorer on 29, was caught behind in the next over and at 75 for 4, it was only a matter of time.

South Africa's last six wickets fell for 58 runs as the middle order lacked temperament and application. That only served to worsen their record: South Africa have not won an ODI against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka since 1993 and have won only one of the 11 completed matches against the hosts they have played there. They will question their flawed strategy, especially in the spin department as they played two left-arm spinners against a top five with three left-handed batsmen and two sublime players of spin, who made them pay today.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sinhaya on July 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Simply brilliant batting by Sanga and I never expected him to get to 169. Well SA are fighters and they will definitely come hard at us. We must also remember that Amla will play the 2nd ODI. Sri Lanka fielded brilliantly too. As for SA, their bowling may have been weakened too with Tsotsobe missing. However, their bowling attack is less threatening in ODIs unlike in tests. I felt that 300 plus will be out of the question for SA mainly due to their inexperienced batting lineup. No doubt this is a great start but still a long way to go. SA will come firing out all cylinders because they will want to register a few more ODI wins in SL soil rather than just having one going back to 1993. Sri Lanka in contrast has beaten SA 6 times in ODIs in SA.

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    How fortunate one has to be, to witness a game like that. It was gentleman cricket out there today. Sanga. No words to describe him, really. I'm afraid SL youngsters will have to put a lot of effort into building what Mahela, Sanga & Dilshan have built within their potentials for Sri Lankan Cricket. Indeed, proud to see Chandimal grabbing the lucky chance he got as a cap'n with both hands. Got to appreciate his belief in starting-off with Malinga. Mathews is usually more inclined towards keeping him till the end, without looking for those initial breakthroughs. It's pretty sure that Herath will bring even more reputation to the team with time. Anyway, I guess with Amla & Tsotsobe to come in for the next games, it will provide a more balanced contest, as far as the South-African immaturity is concerned. Also got to mention that SA is a quality side with real noteworthy players. Got to appreciate their fair play & gentleman game...

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Thirimanna scoring 17 out of 123 runs p'ship in an ODI match speaks volumes about his suitability in ODI.. he is no doubt good for test .. but as many think I dont believe he is the replacement for Sanga..it wasnt a batting difficult pitch, in fact it was a very good one wkt which give batsmen as well as bowlers a chance.. so he scoring 17 runs shows his inability to do what is required in ODI scenario...what is the point of u save ur wkt and make 50 runs wasting 120 bowls and team end up losing the match? end of the day runs shud be on the board to win a match..Thiri cant do that consistantly.... scoring something substantial once in blue moon not gonna work for the team...

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    this is the best ODI inning played by Sanga...because he has never scored 103 runs in 40 odd bowls... maximum run a ball... most of the time he ges out when accelaration is required...anyhow it was brilliant knock and very controlled, flawless inning except the ball he got out for no ball....Premadasa is a very big ground and somewhat surprise to me that he hit six 6s in a such a big ground...all that indicates it was his day and nice to see Sanga getting beter old he becomes unlike many others.

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I would like remind to those who talks about Malinga's obsoletenes etc that it has nothign to do with IPL or anything.. may be players have got more exposure to him due to IPL, but his real problem came after the intriduction of 2 new balls where u cant get reverse swing.. pls see his records before and after this new 2 balls rule was introduced. certainnly his effectiveness has gone down since he is not getting a 35-40 overs old ball which is ideal for reverse swing. that's when he had been lethal and effevtive, many matches he used to get wickets in his 2nd or 3rd spell after 35 overs time. although some ppl claimed that Indian batsmen are better facing him, its the lack of his lethal weapon due to new rule, nothing brilliance of so called indian or any other batsmen. unfortunate thing is Malinga has not changed his tactics much after this rule and he continue bowlling yorkers and full length bowlls where he leak too many runs and go wicket less.

  • on July 22, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Well,, play on flat pitches,,, when SL will go to SA,, they will lose,,, Till what time this will go on?? Why ICC is not forcing for neutral pitches??

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 22, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    @lazyone, How can youngsters get the opportunity if they do not get to bat?. If Tharanga, Dilshan, Sanga, and Mahela bat from 1 to 4 and use 40 to 45 overs how can youngsters get the opportunity? As I said before 2 should be rested for each none important ODI's like this series. Then 2 youngsters will get. Otherwise at least change the batting order so that 2 of those can bat at 6 and 7. These days even Chandimal or Lahiru do not get enough overs to build an inning.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 22, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    @yohandf, Malinga is a passenger if SL play against India. He should be dropped against Indian matches hereafter.

  • Otuwa on July 22, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Mahela is elegant

    Sanga is classical

    I like to see Mahela's century ahead of Sanga

    But my favorite is Sanga

  • yohandf on July 22, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @Go Vikes - Malinga just bowled 4 over in a match completed within 32 overs . he was not required to bowl a second spell as Herath , Thisara & Dilshan have cleaned up SA inning . It doesnt mean Malinga is a passenger in team . infact he is still the go-to-man .

  • Sinhaya on July 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    Simply brilliant batting by Sanga and I never expected him to get to 169. Well SA are fighters and they will definitely come hard at us. We must also remember that Amla will play the 2nd ODI. Sri Lanka fielded brilliantly too. As for SA, their bowling may have been weakened too with Tsotsobe missing. However, their bowling attack is less threatening in ODIs unlike in tests. I felt that 300 plus will be out of the question for SA mainly due to their inexperienced batting lineup. No doubt this is a great start but still a long way to go. SA will come firing out all cylinders because they will want to register a few more ODI wins in SL soil rather than just having one going back to 1993. Sri Lanka in contrast has beaten SA 6 times in ODIs in SA.

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    How fortunate one has to be, to witness a game like that. It was gentleman cricket out there today. Sanga. No words to describe him, really. I'm afraid SL youngsters will have to put a lot of effort into building what Mahela, Sanga & Dilshan have built within their potentials for Sri Lankan Cricket. Indeed, proud to see Chandimal grabbing the lucky chance he got as a cap'n with both hands. Got to appreciate his belief in starting-off with Malinga. Mathews is usually more inclined towards keeping him till the end, without looking for those initial breakthroughs. It's pretty sure that Herath will bring even more reputation to the team with time. Anyway, I guess with Amla & Tsotsobe to come in for the next games, it will provide a more balanced contest, as far as the South-African immaturity is concerned. Also got to mention that SA is a quality side with real noteworthy players. Got to appreciate their fair play & gentleman game...

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Thirimanna scoring 17 out of 123 runs p'ship in an ODI match speaks volumes about his suitability in ODI.. he is no doubt good for test .. but as many think I dont believe he is the replacement for Sanga..it wasnt a batting difficult pitch, in fact it was a very good one wkt which give batsmen as well as bowlers a chance.. so he scoring 17 runs shows his inability to do what is required in ODI scenario...what is the point of u save ur wkt and make 50 runs wasting 120 bowls and team end up losing the match? end of the day runs shud be on the board to win a match..Thiri cant do that consistantly.... scoring something substantial once in blue moon not gonna work for the team...

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    this is the best ODI inning played by Sanga...because he has never scored 103 runs in 40 odd bowls... maximum run a ball... most of the time he ges out when accelaration is required...anyhow it was brilliant knock and very controlled, flawless inning except the ball he got out for no ball....Premadasa is a very big ground and somewhat surprise to me that he hit six 6s in a such a big ground...all that indicates it was his day and nice to see Sanga getting beter old he becomes unlike many others.

  • mark2011 on July 22, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I would like remind to those who talks about Malinga's obsoletenes etc that it has nothign to do with IPL or anything.. may be players have got more exposure to him due to IPL, but his real problem came after the intriduction of 2 new balls where u cant get reverse swing.. pls see his records before and after this new 2 balls rule was introduced. certainnly his effectiveness has gone down since he is not getting a 35-40 overs old ball which is ideal for reverse swing. that's when he had been lethal and effevtive, many matches he used to get wickets in his 2nd or 3rd spell after 35 overs time. although some ppl claimed that Indian batsmen are better facing him, its the lack of his lethal weapon due to new rule, nothing brilliance of so called indian or any other batsmen. unfortunate thing is Malinga has not changed his tactics much after this rule and he continue bowlling yorkers and full length bowlls where he leak too many runs and go wicket less.

  • on July 22, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Well,, play on flat pitches,,, when SL will go to SA,, they will lose,,, Till what time this will go on?? Why ICC is not forcing for neutral pitches??

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 22, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    @lazyone, How can youngsters get the opportunity if they do not get to bat?. If Tharanga, Dilshan, Sanga, and Mahela bat from 1 to 4 and use 40 to 45 overs how can youngsters get the opportunity? As I said before 2 should be rested for each none important ODI's like this series. Then 2 youngsters will get. Otherwise at least change the batting order so that 2 of those can bat at 6 and 7. These days even Chandimal or Lahiru do not get enough overs to build an inning.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 22, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    @yohandf, Malinga is a passenger if SL play against India. He should be dropped against Indian matches hereafter.

  • Otuwa on July 22, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Mahela is elegant

    Sanga is classical

    I like to see Mahela's century ahead of Sanga

    But my favorite is Sanga

  • yohandf on July 22, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    @Go Vikes - Malinga just bowled 4 over in a match completed within 32 overs . he was not required to bowl a second spell as Herath , Thisara & Dilshan have cleaned up SA inning . It doesnt mean Malinga is a passenger in team . infact he is still the go-to-man .

  • on July 21, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Malinga played an entire match: "SL Malinga 4 overs 1 for 21"? Just as a bowler??? Time for SL to rebuild.....the IPL has made Malinga obsolete amongst the world's leading batsmen..... I hope SL will find ALLROUNDERS who can bowl and bat... It is the only way SL can keep ahead of the pace of change in world cricket.

  • Sg1993 on July 21, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    Why do they keep persisting with Collin Ingram? Mark my words, Malinga will Kill him in this series with his Slingy yorkers. My Sa team would be Alviro Petersen, and Du plesis as openers,Hash Amla, Jp Dumminy, Ab devillers, David Miller, Q d kock as wicket keeper. Robin Petersen, Totsobe, Morris, Morkel. Guaranted Win.

  • on July 21, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    If not some dramatic change happens in the SL line up, I am pretty sure that Sanga and Maha would be the last Link to the greats who opened the door for SL in the WC cricket in 96........I am certain the day that these two LEGENDS slams the door in the dressing room will be heart breaking and could be the end of what I used to Love from my childhood........

  • lazyone on July 21, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    I also think youngsters should be moved up the order to bat long. That will give them confidence. I don't think Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan will be retired soon. They will play at lease two more years. Hopefully they will be available for 2015 world cup.

  • JamesSmithee on July 21, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    Only Indian consider Mahela is better than Sanga. Sanga is more stylish than Mahela. His knee down cover drive, cut shots, back foot drives who can think mahela is better than Sanga. I can't understand what measure made Mahela over Sanga. Sanga is the SL batsmen who has highest ODI average, Mahela has lowest among SL batsmen so no need to consider ODI. Even in Test matches Sanga was the number one batsmen in the earth for 3 years. In test standards he is better to compare only with international super stars.

  • priceless1 on July 21, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    agree with Prema1948 , though it was a great innings from Sanga , i too believe he should drop down the batting order ( together with Mahela) and let the new comers do all the hard work with the Bat

  • on July 21, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    What pleased me the most was that Sangakkara seemed to be in the shape of his life. Let's face it. The guy was never known as a particularly strong physically. But now, he seems to be better..

  • on July 21, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    What a great player Sanga is, what a knock. Within the knock he scored a 46 ball 100, his last 100 runs. Legend

  • jb633 on July 21, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    South Africa really do not have that much depth at all and I would love to see them have to play a test series right now against SL, there would only be one winner. South Africa are the best test side atm but I have a feeling the UAE tour will throw up a lot of problems and Ajmal must be licking his lips at the prospect of bowling against some of these guys on a bunsen. Sanga is a class act wherever he plays, fantastic knock yet again. Well played to SL you absolutely hammered them

  • on July 21, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    I think mahela and sanga are very different in there batting but both hav the ability to assess and play according to wat the circumstances.. if one fails more often than not the other will step up... in saying that I prefer sanga to mahela just cos of those elegant cover drives!..

  • Ilovesanga on July 21, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    But why did whoever started this 'comparison' between Mahela and Sanga start this? Sanga played a brilliant knock yesterday and that's it actually. Saying that Mahela has more fans is debatable because Sanga won the most popular cricketer in the world AND in Sri Lanka consecutively for like 2 years. (or maybe even more). And saying that Sanga isn't 'one of us' is pretty prejudiced. Doesn't matter if he is "posh or not" he is still Sri Lankan and 'one of us". He is just a more clean cut and gentlemanly version of us. He IS fully Sri Lankan and is a Sinhalese who can fluently speak English and Sinhala. Don't take that away from him.

  • Prema1948 on July 21, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    NiroshanDickwella,SadunWeerakkody(BSch'boyBatY2012)&KusalMendis(BSch'boy Bat Y 2013)who have been showing consistency from very young age the likes of Joe Root. Yesterday's century of Joe Root has a more value than that of S'kara who is playing his 568th International Innings, Once a question was posed at Joe Root (representing Yorkshire),about Uwa Next players during the Champions League Tnmt. , in SA, when he had very high praise for BhanukaRajapaksha who was one of the stars at the Youth WCof 2010, the J&Ps have ruin this World class players career by ignoring him in order to carry on with the under-performing seniors. Bhanuka is not an ordinary player that has been among the 10 Best Schoolboy batters of the year since'07 and finally won the B Sch'boy Cricketer of the Year Award 2010&11. Soon after leaving school he did maintain 1st Cla Bat Ave above 50 but it has come down to 30 mostly due to the negligence & irresponsibility of officials.(Stats.Courtesy Cricinfo&Newspapers of SL)

  • Prema1948 on July 21, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Sangakkara took 350 number of ODI matches, to play a fine innings, it's a good example for a controlled hitting;but very often than not, he appears to be very selfish in this very vital position and has always had got out when the Team needed some quick runs after wasting lots of deliveries, even if he does this at regular basis like Dhoni, I still prefer quality youngster at No3. This position of an ODI team is meant for stroke-filled batters with good control over their stroke-play that can tear apart any bowling attack on any surface, as the way it was done at consistent basis by great Miandad, Tendulkar, Lara & our own Aravinda. This kind of players has always shown their class from very young age as 15-16. However the Sri Lankan proven young Cricketers have no hopes for the future, because The Officials & the local Media wants the seniors & other henchmen to do everything and continue till the next WC, that is why 3 World Class players are sitting on the bench this very2bCNTD

  • bearface on July 21, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    What a fabulous innings by Sanga he is on his way to becoming arguably SL's best bat. On the argument between Mahela and Sanga I would say Mahela had more talent and flair as a youngster whereas Sanga was pretty average as a youngster but as time went on Sanga simply improved with each match he played. In ODI cricket both Mahela and Sanga are pretty even but Mahela is more fluent, is a natural strokemaker and has played clutch innings for us better than Sanga. But in Test cricket there is absolutely no doubt that Sanga stands head and shoulders above Mahela as a batsman he has played the better knocks in tough conditions.. he is our best test batsman ever! Both are legends of SL cricket though and it would be a very sad day when they decide to retire.

  • on July 21, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    Look Kumar steadies the ship mahela he is a free playing player likes to play his shots. a mahela 100 will look more entertaining than a kumar 100 but i think kumar is better.

  • Thushaa on July 21, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    This series will be a confirmation of South-africa's worries as tourists. Actually my opinion is, they have avoided touring the sub-continent as their record is awful in those countries from the start. They have cut short the test-series in SL earlier siting security and avoids touring INDIA.

    Most of the test tours involving SA, is in Their home grounds, and no wonder their test rankings as so good. They just had a 2-test outing with England and rushed back home, earlier in the year. Why is SA having soo many home series, where countries like India/ SL/ Bangladesh/ OZ's have to tour so much? After few tours like this to SL, we can see where South africa really stand. Regards, Thush.

  • rajcan on July 21, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    This is a great example of how SL team selection affects the outcome of series. Thissara Perera is one of the good all rounder SL has. He was instrumental in the last world cup. Person like him has to be backed up and made him to believe he is part of the team.

    He was very successful in IPL, not with bat that much, but with ball. His team believed on him and he delivered. He is an all rounder, on a given day either he do well with bat or ball or with both.

    He was dropped for Champion trophy and tri-series. Results were expected. He would have definitely delivered better results with bat or ball.

    Today he proved it again that he belongs to playing XI. SL Thirimane is a test player, not an ODI material. He is there to occupy crease and waste balls and tire up bowlers.

    Today's match, he took away the momentum Sangakara build up by playing too many dot balls.

    I sometimes wonder, selection panel really choose the best XI to play????

  • on July 21, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    When Tharanga got put & Mahela came out to the ground whole stadium cheered madly. It was like whole stadium was waiting for him to come out. And when Sanga got out the whole stadium gave him a standing ovation. It clearly capture the essence of the meaning of these two fabulous batmen to SL fans. They love Mahela slightly better, but know Sanga delivers his best more often than not. This is Sri Lankan version of Lara-Sachin debate. Gladly two are best of buddies & we love them both.

  • on July 21, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Sanga is a better batsman. Mahela is more stylish. Also I think Mahela has produced more memorable innings. Mahela in full flow is a treat to watch. But Sanga is probably the best batsmen in the world since he has the best test average. Also remember, he kept wickets most of those innings.

  • on July 21, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    Malinga needs to open the bowling for SL..... His reverse swing Yorker has now been studied and mastered by all.... Malinga can last a few years with this strategy (opening the bowling). But, it is time that SL started nurturing some tall youngsters who have the mettle to handle ODI pressures.

  • on July 21, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    Don't how this debate started-who is more loved in SL? They are both fantastic players regardless,and personally,I feel Sanga over Jay any day. On a different note I really would like to see a bit more mongrel in the team. Ranatunga had that factor in the past,and he somehow got the best from his players through it. Who brings out the best now-certainly no one currently.

  • Master_Mihil on July 20, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    I don't understand this one of us bull. How come Sanga did not become one of us. Mahela came before Sanga. But he was blamed early in his career too. I remember how many Srilankans blamed Sanga when he made his debut. Missing catches, not scoring runs and stuff. But through his relentless persuit of perfection he became Great Batsmen, Great Personality in the world over. If you don't love Mahela and Sanga the same way you are not a true SL fan.

  • SivaSurapaneni on July 20, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Sangakkara is Sri Lanka's Rahul Dravid

  • Kays789 on July 20, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    @JamesSmithee: Almost everyone in SL would take Mahela over Sanga any day. To suggest anything different points to ignorance. Mahela has always had far more flare, talent and leadership skills than Sanga. However that doesn't necessarily mean he's a better bat. Clearly Sanga is far more consistent and has accomplished a lot more over the years. But regardless of Mahela's record he is clearly the most fluent batsman SL has ever produced in its relatively brief cricketing history.

  • kc69 on July 20, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Even though this match was stolen by the charm of Sanga's batting there is still one person who showed SLC that why his exclusion was unjustified. Yes, I'm talking about Thisara Parera who showed how important he is in Sri Lanka's win. But still this win doesn't prove anything much for rest of the SL batsmen(Removing Dishan, Mahela and Sanga)

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    @mcsdl ; Well said buddy !! Mahela - "He is one of us".. Thats how the Sri Lankans perceive him. Sri Lankans respect Sanga for his great achievements n contribution to SL Cricket. But They LOVE Mahela. When Sanga made his debut, Mahela had already become a mini-legend in Sri Lanka. In Sanga's test debut, he scored 27 or something and Mahela scored 167 in the same innings. Mahela was our golden boy n still is. I'm just only making a point here, not taking anything away from Sanga. Sanga is already a legend n arguably the best batsman in the world right now. He will go on to knock over many records n go down in the history as one of the greatest batsmen ever to play the game of Cricket, if not the greatest. We love him to death. But Mahela will always be remembered as "ONE OF US" !!!

  • on July 20, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    Guys no matter Mahela has more respect or Sanga has more respect! both are representing SL & both are need to get the respect equally as they both have saved SL crecket for so long without keeping any religious toughts. as a srilankan i salute both Sanga & Mahela equally! that is the way we as srilankan need to support to our own HEROS! very well done SANGA & MAYYA wonderful to watch both you bat togeather for so long! GO LANKAN Go!

  • proteasfire on July 20, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Pathetic display by SA batters again. They havent showed any improvement after champions trophy upset and its the same old story again. Batters unable to bat through the full quota of 50 overs and no partnerships or big scores in the middle. Faf and JP appear to be overrated than what they have performed in the ODIs. Miller needs more time and has a lot of potential. With Amla not playing and AB missing out after a good start this SA batting line up looks very fragile. Serious words needs to be exchanged in the dressing room and SA have to step up considerably if they are to give some fight in Island nation. On the other hand, Kudos Sanga and SL for a great start to the tourmanent!!

  • on July 20, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    @BLADE-Runner, you are absolutely spot on mate. Well said. Sanga is a legend. there is no argument. But on the other hand Mahela is is really unlucky not getting enough chances to open the inning. If he does open no one will talk about any other player. He is a kind of player who can play at any position. He can excel in any format at any condition against any opposition.

  • mcsdl on July 20, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Mahlea has more fans in Sri Lanka than Sanga will ever have. They both are fantastic cricketers and great to watch and are well respected. The difference is Mahela was a child prodigy who was groomed at very young age to lead Sri Lanka. Sanga's story is very different where he took Cricket seriously only few years before getting selected to the national team, so basically he was nobody (in terms of SriLankan cricket press) before that. Mahela is also more stylish, better captain and have more natural talent but Sanga is more composed, mentally tough which has made him a slightly better batsman over Mahela. But onething Sanga can never have is Sri Lankans do feel Mahela is one of them (although he comes from a fairly well doing family), but Sanga is considered as a posh kid and he may/may not be Sinhalese either. So although Sri Lankan people respect and admire Sanga they love Mahela more, just because Mahela have that sense of "He is one of us" kind of appeal which Sanga doesn't have.!

  • on July 20, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Wonderful batting by Sanga..Still can not understand why not Chandimal batted at number 5 instead of Thirimanne......As the captain he must get the responsibility without hidden in the batting order..

  • on July 20, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Wonderful cricket by sri lanka...they absolutely crushed south africa...i am immensely pleased by this win by sri lanka... Coming from a pakistani whose second favourite team is sri lanka...i feel lyk its my team playing when sri lankas playing..

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    @JamesSmithee ; You must be kidding. Mahela had won the hearts n minds of Sri Lanka way before Sanga or Dilshan (Dilshan ?? :O) entered the scene. He is one of the 2 greatest skippers SL have ever produced. As a kid, I remember I watched Mahela's 1st century against England chasing 300+ in that controversial match where Ross Emmerson no-balled Murali. And he was just 20 years old at that time. And he deserves evry bit of respect he gets. That doesn't take anything away from legendary wkt-keeper batsman Sanga. But, inside SL, Mahela commands more respect than Sanga, as far as I know. But outside of SL, its a totally different story.

  • jackthelad on July 20, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    I've been saying this for a couple of years now, but permit me to repeat myself: Sangakkara is the greatest batsman in the world at this time, bar none (and I speak as an England supporter).

  • sidzy on July 20, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    Guys like fuf and duminy needs to stand up & be counted when needed.

  • Dr.Lakson on July 20, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    Great Innings by Sanga...... he seems to be a different ODI bat after sitting out the IPL...... No challenge for Chandimal as the youngest captain of Sri Lanka. Only chance he had to show his mettle would have been to come and bat above Thirimane and have Left hand right hand combination. Also had a significant number of overs left to build a good innings. Shows bit of defensiveness in Chandimal trying to preserve his place in the team. This is all due to the media harping on the fact about his poor form.

  • JamesSmithee on July 20, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Who says SL consider Mahela over Sanga. Mahela is placed bellow than Sanga and Dilshan in SL

  • IndianCoolGuy on July 20, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    Congratulations to all SL fans. Good to see trump cards performing for SL. Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan are performing well, but the problem is they have to decide whether they 2015 WC or not and if they play what could be their fitness levels? their ages will be Sanga on 37+ Mahela on 38+ Dilshan on 38+ and it will be very tough to perform at that age. And at the right time, if they loose tough, then its very tough to replace some one at those places. So, SL board should start thinking about the future. They should apply rotation policy among these 3 players at least to get some one in so that young players can learn from seniors. All the best SL.

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    @AnkushDeshmukh ; Well, Mahela commands more respect in Sri Lanka than Sanga for sure. Its coz his great versatile batting skills n outstanding leadership skills. I believe that he can adopt to any condition better than Sanga. If you see his batting in all 3 formats and at different positions, its pretty clear that Mahela somewhat outplays Sanga. Mahela can go berserk from the very first delivery he faces unlike Sanga.

    On the other hand, Sanga commands more respect outside of SL. And he is so damn popular too. Sanga is a better player of pace bowling , specially on pacy n bouncy wkts. He averages 50+ in tests in both home n way.

    You can't quite compare these two legends. But My favorite one is Mahela :P coz he is soooo elegant n wonderful player to watch. :))

  • on July 20, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    agree with pad marley..we have loads of young talent and they will fire when their time comes..now its the era of sangas and mahelas..lets just enjoy..specially Sanga..he is one of the greatest batters world has ever seen

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    @PadMarley ; SPOT ON !!! It has become the newest record that the most of our Cricket fans (including fellow SL fans) keep playing over n over again these days. Future !! Future !! Future !!. I am literally sick of it. Sanga, Mahela n Dilshan are all playing just like they used to play 5-6 years back. So why are these ppl asking 'em to retire n make way to young players ? I really dont understand. We have so many young players like Mathews, Chandi, Thiri, Thisara, Kusal etc in the playing XI. They will take the responsibility in due time once big trio is retired.

    Guys, stop worrying about the future n enjoy whats on table at the moment n be grateful that we still have the likes of Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan in top form.

  • ExtraCoverDriver on July 20, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Great batting performance by the Sri Lankan team. They have once again shown that they are a world class team at the Premadasa Stadium in ODI cricket, especially against opposition from outside of the Subcontinent.

  • Kays789 on July 20, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    For all you people complaining about the young SL batsmen, Sanga and Mahela were woeful at the start of their careers. They made really good 20s and 30s and threw their wicket away over and over and over again in the first few years of their careers. That's why their batting averages aren't in the high 40s or something like they ought to be for such quality players. The new guys will come through eventually and be just as great as these two. SL have hardly ever suffered from a dearth of batting talent. It's the bowlers, particularly quality fast men that will always be a worry for them.

  • Allen.Arendtsz on July 20, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Simply the greatest cricketer of all time Sir. Kumar Sangakkara, a remarkable knock by sanga, definetely the best ive seen him play . Really proud of my team!!!!

  • Nmiduna on July 20, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    JUST RELAX PLEASE GUYS!!!..Sri Lankans have always found a way to stay competent in the limited overs formats, much was said when murali and vaas went..bt more or less the gaps were filled! kule can develop further and eranga is showing signs of improvement now..batting wise we don't lack talent. when they need to take the responsibility, they will come forward, and don't forget in mathews we have a good all round player(if he can stay fit and focused) and he'll improve as a captain, true chandimal was horrible in the tri series and thiri looks a limited batsman, but i'm sure we will find a way to fill those so called gaps and deficiencies with time, it always has been the case in limited overs, in tests we've not been that good anyway(and it is a matter of concern)..as Padmarley has said, just relax and enjoy our own greats get better with age, especially with sanga i think he'll produce more special innings, and hopefully some of those will be in tests!

  • AnkushDeshmukh on July 20, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    This is for all those who rate Jayawardene over Sanga! Sanga is a legend.... Just cause you play 400 ODIs doesnt make you one! Such masterful innings and scoring almost the same number of runs in ODIs at a better average and strike rate make you a legend!!

  • Sinhabahu on July 20, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    @Blade-Runner, ah yes! I think Sanga's sizzling knock today made me forget that 40-ball 90! He very occasionally does explode when he wants to.

  • vsroc on July 20, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Posted by Venkat Sraman on (July 21,2013) It was a total domination by Sri Lanka in the first ODI against South Africa which enabled them to outplay the opponent thoroughly.

  • PadMarley on July 20, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    People!! for god sake stop talking about future future future and youngsters not being ready!!! What you are are witnessing with Mahela and Sanga is perhaps the final episode of a legacy that might last for another one or two years I guess. Enjoy it while it lasts, cos you gonna bloody miss these kind of players when they are not there. Yes, the youngsters are not so consistent... but there is an abundance of batting talent in the pipeline. they will learn through failure. If you really wanna be worried, worry about not having quality fast bowlers coming up!!

  • SL_rockz on July 20, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Sanga wins the game for SL.But we all know what happens when mahela sanga or dilshan past 80 + odd runs.They have proven that they can win a match. But what about rest? ... No young and matching talent is visible now. there will be a huge hole after all sanga mahela and dili retired at the same period. Shame !! We should make new players , expose them to pressure without waiting further.

  • miles100 on July 20, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    It's hard to say it is a weakened South African side. Because no one got exceptional scores except for Sanga. We SLs have a lot stronger and more talented ODI batting line up than India,no doubt. The only issue with SL is most of the SL batsmen don't see the light at the end of the tunnel except for Sanga. SL batsmen except for Sanga give up so quickly with reckless shots when the going gets tough. I think all other batsmen including Mahela and Dilshan should take some lessons from Sanga on becoming a consistent run getter.Sanga is on a mission to be one of the best personal achievers in world cricket. He focuses on him self first and put him self to a better position so that he can focuses on his job for the team and the country. In other words he becomes selfish to be unselfish which means that he is not selfish if you look at the bigger picture.

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    Great team work SL lions..Keep it up.

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @Sinhabahu ; Oh no, He has many times. Remember His 90+ in 40 deliveries against India chasing 400+ ?

  • ZCFOutkast on July 20, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Forget Smith&Kallis. Time to rebuild using South Africans and ignore pretenders like JP, Miller, Faf, RobbieP&McLaren. They'll never win a cup for us, not even the I-Cup! SA XI for UAE tour: Omphile Ramela, Thabang Mokoena, Bavuma(c), Tsolekile(wk), Khayelihle Zondo, Vuyisa Makhaphela, Tumelo Bodibe(wk), Gqamane, Tsotsobe, Mbhalati, Phangiso.

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    The international commentators are the best judges of the performance of the players.No player is selected by the respective boards without proper rating.Thissara was omitted for the West indian tour.Dont blame the selectors.Very great players were dropped or omitted by their boards only to see the players to perform well. Playing Conditiones are different, and cricket is the only game many factors come into play.Well done Sri Lanka.I hope SA would perform well in their next match.

  • cricket_slcsupport on July 20, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Hope we can do the same or at least beat India and the Austrailans like this. Sanga and Mahela should win the next World Cup 2015 and win a test series in India and Australia. We wish you all the best. If only SL could have played like this in the past :-( they need that killer instinct.

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Its pretty sad that 11 SA players can't keep up with one SL batsman. Sanga alone 169 vs SA 140. lol On the other hand, its not much of a surprise when that batsman is none other than legendary Sanga. He took on SA bowlers by surprise that they didnt know what hit 'em. 103 runs from last 43 deliveries. Wow... This innings will go down as one of the best ODI assaults in the history.

    Its good to see that Thisara is back in his usual form with the bat n ball. And, yeah..Thirimanne batted slow. But he is our contingency plan in case of a collapse. So I wouldn't mind his slow batting as long as he holds the line from the other end.

    Overall, fantastic cricket was on the display today. This massive thrashing of 180 runs will give Sri Lanka a plenty of confidence to go on n win the series 5-0, just like last time. Best of luck to both teams for their next encounter. Peace out.

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Sangakkara: 169. South Africa: 140. Sangakkara wins. Report in short. (928 characters left. Willing to donate to any one who wants extra characters to right about this match. Or, mismatch)

  • on July 20, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    No Steyn and Philander. What you expect?

  • proteasfire on July 20, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    Sri Lanka ruthless and South Africa clueless!! Sanga was classy again and his knock was too much to handle for the visitors. Sanga's was a classic example of how to pace an innings in ODI and youngsters can take a leaf out of that knock. Hats off to the game's legend!! Contrary to SL's batsmen SA's batting unit again looked abject and were in a total disarray. Middle order was rusty and no batsman stands up to put an innings together in recent times on a day when both AB and Amla fails. SA were nowhere near the chase. This is no better display by South Africa after poor Champions Trophy campaign. Their batting unit need to learn to bat for full 50 overs and pace innings well like Sanga did. Very poor performance by SA overall and they need to go about it more seriously if they want to show improvements!!

  • Sinhabahu on July 20, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    What an innings by Sanga! In all his career, I have never seen him go berserk like that! The South Africans should not be discouraged, they were lacking Smith, Amla, Kallis and Steyn, true giants of the game. The rest of the series won't be so easy for SL, but this was a good retort to those smart alecs here who predicted the series 5-0 to SA lol.

  • tdslbuwa on July 20, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Great batting by classy Sanga...One of all time great WK batsman...All SL need is kick lazy Mubarak out of team and get Angelo Perera in...Also I feel there is no place for Thirimanne in current team when Mathewes is back... Thisara Perera again showed why he should not be dropped..he is such clean hitter and very decent bowler indeed...Keep it up boys...

  • andrew27994 on July 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Thisara Perera is a highly talented cricketer and SL should see him as a long-term prospect. His problem at the moment is that he lacks the maturity to succeed in the longer formats. He needs to work a bit more on his skills for both his bowling and batting.

  • andrew27994 on July 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    Thisara Perera is a highly talented cricketer and SL should see him as a long-term prospect. His problem at the moment is that he lacks the maturity to succeed in the longer formats. He needs to work a bit more on his skills for both his bowling and batting.

  • on July 20, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    Pretty good show from the entire team today! Mahela and Thisara both fire, and Sanga was beyond phenomenal. Stay classy Sanga! Such a pleasure watching you in the middle.

    Kudos to the bowlers as well. SA didn't have a clue.

  • on July 20, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    sanga you are just amazing. . thumbs up..

  • on July 20, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    It should be obvious by now. The likes of Morris , Mclaren, Ingram etc are B side players, Thats why we do so badly in the one dayers when we play them and without some of the test players. With Amla, Steyn, Smith, Kallis it would be a different story

  • on July 20, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Wooow...Sanga,you are the best in the world And not any batsman to same you.keep it continue master and good luck sri lanka!!!..

  • cheguramana on July 20, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Great innings from Kumar. Reminds me of India team of the 90s. Great performances at home, even angst good teams. Not one bit of silverware to show on world stage !

  • crickketlover on July 20, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Speaking on behalf of Indian cricket fans: Even if Sanga had hit a century like this against India, we all would have cheered and applauded as well. Well done. Keep up the good work. We all need Sanga playing like this, as he is one of the very few decent cricketers with great skills.

  • SL_rockz on July 20, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Our legend has become the 5 th all time run scorer in ODI history just now :) ...With 11595 runs he joins the club of top 5 highest run makers in ODI history... Wow !! keep going sanga !! you deserve tobe in top 2 ...Inzamam will be over taken soon :) .... As a sri lankan fan i am really proud that this man was orn as a sri lankan... New players should learn to practice hard and hard as he do.Then only you will be a legend... new players waits things to come to them.But sanga shows that t can be achieved only by dedication and hard practice. How often you see sanga practicing with a young player throwing a ball at him while other new players in the squad walk to their homes finishing due practice session.... Hats off to you sir...

  • andrew27994 on July 20, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    This man Kumar Sangakkara has achieved many great things in his career and this will probably be one of his most cherished achievements. Well played Sanga ! You showed us once again that you are one of the best batsmen to have played the game. Respect from India.

  • on July 20, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Sanga is one of the "better batsmen" in international cricket in any form of the game. This guy is just full of runs .

  • on July 20, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Awesome batting by Sangakkara,

  • khiladisher on July 20, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Sanga has once again delivered even if it is only against a weakened South African attack.This attack of SA would surely rank among its most poor ever.As a Lankan fan I I wish Sanga performs the same way at big matches and against Top ranked Number 1 Team.

  • SampathCRCK on July 20, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I can't understand What Thirimanne did out there... Again he proved that he is not suited in ODI cricket..

  • C0l0mb0 on July 20, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Ground attendance tells everything. Its Saturday. Heart of Colombo. Less than 2000 ppl on the ground (dont know exact #). Thats where Selectors/Officials pushed SL Cricket. for me... dont care how many runs Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan scored. Everyone know what will happn when one of them make more than 80. Its all about others, the future... SL should make someone to take those 3 guys place coz all 3 of them will retire same time.

  • Blade-Runner on July 20, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    What a master class innings from master class Sanga. Wow.. thats what i call a good old fashion thrashing. He started slow, built the inning and later went berserk. lol

    He scored first 69 runs in 95 balls and next 42 balls - 100 runs. lol He was simply hitting boundaries at will. 18- 4's n 6- 6's. The strange things is that older Sanga gets better he plays, unlike other legends. He holds the highest average in test cricket too- 57.00. Truly a legend. Hats off to you King Sanga !!!

  • on July 20, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    One of the great ODI classic batting display from classic Sanga..

  • NP_NY on July 20, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Have never seen SA this sloppy on the field. Dropped catches, misfields, and bad field settings. And it looks like the bowlers have not learnt anything from their CT match against India about bowling too many short balls.

  • Night_Fury on July 20, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    This is absolutely crazy...Sanga and mahela show,again...opener made runs like he was playing test cricket..SL may win but to all SL fans...r u guys gonna send this kind of team to 2015 World Cup? Sme one up there must look into what's happening to their cricket...even if they score 280 odd runs SA might win..disappointing to not see any new faces in lanka

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    SL should have sent Tissara after Mahela's wicket so that he could have used Power Play

  • on July 20, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Only selection team in the world who don't have plans for future.It says lot about present day SL happy to live the day !!! Insignificant tour playing at home should have given chance to test next crop of players, instead play same old!!

  • on July 20, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    this will probably be mubaraks last chance to prove himself. @lalithkuruwitha tharangas avg is nowhere near 40, its well below 35!

  • EnglishCricket on July 20, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    A lot of these young batsman in the circuit should have a look how a world class batsman like Sanga bats especially in Tests. With batting being a major disappointment by a lot of youngsters from almost all teams in the last year or so, watching how players like Sanga bats should help them to correct their problems.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    SL should score 260 which will be too too much or SA.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Tharanga has scored over 5200 runs at an average nearly 40. I think he is one of the top opening batsman. I do not know why he was dropped. But Kushal could not grab the opportunity. If Tharanga will score a century, he will definitely play next 4 ODI's.

  • jayantak on July 20, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    For the lousiest commentators in Cricket- go to TEN CRICKET'S Srilankan commentators! Ranjith fernando is a master of the innane comment and Politician cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya (thankfully now removed) speaks broken English.How we miss Tony Grieg

  • on July 20, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    WHAT??? Mubarak???? Oh god, not again! :/

  • on July 20, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    How in the world Mubarak got ahead of Angelo Perera in todays match??? What has Mubarak done in the last year that would warrant a place in the A side let alone play in todays match. Well done Jayasuriya & co you have proved yet again money matters above all else.

  • vinodbhatia on July 20, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Srilanka playing at home, the problem is that this batting line up will do well at home and keep all quiet for the time being till they travel again and their flaws are exposed for their dependance on the 2 stalwarts Sangakkara and Jayawardene

  • vinodbhatia on July 20, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Srilanka playing at home, the problem is that this batting line up will do well at home and keep all quiet for the time being till they travel again and their flaws are exposed for their dependance on the 2 stalwarts Sangakkara and Jayawardene

  • on July 20, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    How in the world Mubarak got ahead of Angelo Perera in todays match??? What has Mubarak done in the last year that would warrant a place in the A side let alone play in todays match. Well done Jayasuriya & co you have proved yet again money matters above all else.

  • on July 20, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    WHAT??? Mubarak???? Oh god, not again! :/

  • jayantak on July 20, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    For the lousiest commentators in Cricket- go to TEN CRICKET'S Srilankan commentators! Ranjith fernando is a master of the innane comment and Politician cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya (thankfully now removed) speaks broken English.How we miss Tony Grieg

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Tharanga has scored over 5200 runs at an average nearly 40. I think he is one of the top opening batsman. I do not know why he was dropped. But Kushal could not grab the opportunity. If Tharanga will score a century, he will definitely play next 4 ODI's.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    SL should score 260 which will be too too much or SA.

  • EnglishCricket on July 20, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    A lot of these young batsman in the circuit should have a look how a world class batsman like Sanga bats especially in Tests. With batting being a major disappointment by a lot of youngsters from almost all teams in the last year or so, watching how players like Sanga bats should help them to correct their problems.

  • on July 20, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    this will probably be mubaraks last chance to prove himself. @lalithkuruwitha tharangas avg is nowhere near 40, its well below 35!

  • on July 20, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Only selection team in the world who don't have plans for future.It says lot about present day SL happy to live the day !!! Insignificant tour playing at home should have given chance to test next crop of players, instead play same old!!

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 20, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    SL should have sent Tissara after Mahela's wicket so that he could have used Power Play