Sri Lanka v South Africa, 5th ODI, Colombo July 31, 2013

Dominant Sri Lanka make it 4-1

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Sri Lanka 307 for 4 (Dilshan 99, Sangakkara 75*, Thirimanne 68) beat South Africa 179 (De Villiers 51, Lakmal 3-24, Mendis 3-36) by 128 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa suffered a fifth successive sub-standard batting performance in Sri Lanka to concede the final match in the series - a dead rubber - to opposition who have shown their superiority. Throughout the 12-day contest, Sri Lanka batted with more authority and bowled with more intent and just to emphasise that, they did both even better today despite resting three senior players.

Tillakaratne Dilshan followed up his century in the previous match with 99 and shared in a second-wicket stand of 163 with Lahiru Thirimanne who found confidence with a half-century, while Kumar Sangakkara racked up milestones. He overtook Misbah-ul-Haq as the leading run-scorer in ODIs this year and become the top-scorer for Sri Lanka in a bilateral series with 372 runs. With all those accolades, his best mate, Mahela Jayawardene was hardly missed.

Neither was Sri Lanka's marquee fast bowler, Lasith Malinga, or leading spinner Rangana Herath. Their replacements, Suranga Lakmal and Sachithra Senanayake, did the damage with five wickets between them to ensure even the flicker of a challenge South Africa posed was suffocated before it find any oxygen.

Although South Africa have scored more runs in each innings as this series wore on, they were always unlikely to chase down a score of 300-plus. They have a lethargic bowling performance and indifferent showing in the field to thank for being asked to do that.

Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe started well with probing lines outside offstump and had early success. They kept Sri Lanka's scoring rate under four an over and Morkel had Kusal Perera out when the opener bottom-edged to Quinton de Kock.

What South Africa should have used as an opening, Sri Lanka grabbed onto as an opportunity. They moved Thirimanne up the order and he responded by building steadily alongside Dilshan.

They pair gave themselves time against South Africa's ineffectual spin duo so that when Morkel was brought back, he posed little threat. Dilshan reached his half-century with a backfoot drive off him, while Thrimanne's came with a single off Phangiso. By the halfway mark, they were consistently scoring more than four runs an over and had laid enough foundation to up the aggression.

And they did. The very next over, Thirimanne charged Phangiso and drove Morkel with confidence. He could have been stumped for 62 but Quinton de Kock missed the chance. It only cost six runs before JP Duminy took a tumbling catch to see Thirimanne out but illustrated a wider South African problem.

Their fielding was not up to scratch, they didn't back up enough, their throws were wayward and de Villiers' communication in changing his fields was almost non-existent. All this while Sangakkara arrived and smoked Duminy back over his head and hit Morkel of all of his lengths. The three fours that came in the over where off a good length ball, a full one and a short one.

Sangakkara missed out on a century the last time he batted with Dilshan but this time it was Dilshan's turn to suffer that fate. He marched into the 90s with an authoritative pull and lingered on 99 for three balls before he was bowled by a McLaren slower ball.

In celebration of his wicket, South Africa seemed to forget all their plans. Tsotsobe reverted back to short balls and Morkel could not find any workable line or length. His figures were the most expensive of his career. Mathews let loose and Thisara Perera had licence to go wild but it was Sangakkara's presence that made a score over 300 possible.

He smacked 49 runs on the on-side and helped himself to extravagant shots like scoops over de Kock's head. He was largely responsible for the addition of 52 runs in the last five overs and for South Africa's mountain being too high.

They started gallantly, with de Kock showing his promise with powerful cuts, and 32 runs scored off the first five overs. He remained loose outside the offstump and when he left a gap between bat and pad against Senanayake, he was bowled. The 35 he put on with Hashim Amla was South Africa's highest opening stand of the series.

Amla and Duminy put on 25 before Amla also failed to read Senanayake and was plumb lbw. Dumimy padded up to Dilshan and Faf du Plessis' lean run grew longer when was caught. At 69 for 4, South Africa were only headed one way.

De Villiers scored a-run-a-ball 51 but was caught at point on his first attempt to lash out. South Africa they were eventually put out of their misery in the 44th over to hand Sri Lanka a 4-1 win and leave themselves with more questions than answers about the rebuilding of their one-day unit.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | July 31, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Well this is really an exceptional win for SL compared to all other matches in this series and once again Sanga magic worked on, The three pillars of SL batting are indeed Sanga,Dilshan and Mahela. It also raises a lot of questions that SL can manage resting any bowler or player except these three they will win 9 out of 10 times against any opposition.SA have lot introspection on their hands regarding their team performance in subcontinent especially on Slow and Spinning tracks. If they play like this then it is assured that SA will perform worse against bowlers like Ajmal, Hafeez and Afridi in UAE(SA's upcoming tour in October).

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | July 31, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    A fantastic win for Sri Lanka once again, completing the series victorious "4-1" against a strong opponent like South Africa. Sri Lanka proved that they can still win even without their front line bowlers like Malinga n Herath and batting legends like Mahela. Mathews gained his first series victory and he couldn't have asked a better way to achieve it.

    Batting king Kumar Sangakkara once again proved why he is The Best Batsman in the world. Now he is the leading run scorer in ODI's (currently playing) with 11798 runs. He is also the top odi run scorer in 2013 - 883 runs at an avg of 73.58. What a legend. I think SA players have a lot to learn from this series, specially how to play against a world class spin attacks. Overall it was a fantastic series n there was good cricket on display. Lovely !!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    well done

  • POSTED BY on | August 6, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Congratulations to Srilanka !It was much needed work for SL but they did very well.

  • POSTED BY SL_rockz on | August 3, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    No article on Highest ODI run owner (still playing) ?????? Sangakkara the live batting legend in cricket now placed 4th in the all time list of ODI runs and still playing.He will go pass ricky as well . Why cricinfo has no articles about his achievement ???

  • POSTED BY many07 on | August 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    it all about good cricket which team play better it will win

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 1, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Best of luck sri lanka comprehensive win after lost of tri series in west indies... Any way sangakkara,Dilshan,Herath,Malinga. Played superbly in the series good luck boya keep it up

  • POSTED BY cricket_slcsupport on | August 1, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Welcome victory for SL, after series of close defeats after the World Cup, should boost their confidence for winning against a strong SA side. I hope they keep this momentum going. Good to see Dilshan taking responsibility and staying in the crease without throwing away his wicket.

    Hope we get someone like Sanath to play big shots and another Vaas. All the best, we still love you and will support.

  • POSTED BY palfeb31987 on | August 1, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    @ DINITH85 - Well, in a series between SL and RSA, where did India come into the picture. On your assessment that India can't win without Dhoni, i guess you have forgotten the spanking Kohli has given to SL in the past 2-3 years. Dhoni is a reliable player and he has finished many matches for India. But Kohli has been equally terrific as well. Also, in the Champions trophy, Dhoni didnt have an opportunity to even bat for India except in the final and in the warm up games. Kohli contributed big only in the final and in the semis (Against his favourite opposition).Even in the recently concluded Tri-series at West Indies, India has won matches without Dhoni. While Indian batting hinges on Dhoni and Kohli, its fair to say Dhawan, Rohit and to a lesser extent DK & Raina have contributed so much to the batting. For SL, only Thirimanne has been really consistent and Thisara on very few occassions.No youngsters have contributed recently. Matthews has vanished! Kusal is a failure.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Congratulations to SL for wrapping up a 4-1 winning series. It just clearly shows that if the seniors contribute SL can match and win against any team in the world. Keep up the momentum and go for a clean sweep in the shorter version.

  • POSTED BY kc69 on | July 31, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Well this is really an exceptional win for SL compared to all other matches in this series and once again Sanga magic worked on, The three pillars of SL batting are indeed Sanga,Dilshan and Mahela. It also raises a lot of questions that SL can manage resting any bowler or player except these three they will win 9 out of 10 times against any opposition.SA have lot introspection on their hands regarding their team performance in subcontinent especially on Slow and Spinning tracks. If they play like this then it is assured that SA will perform worse against bowlers like Ajmal, Hafeez and Afridi in UAE(SA's upcoming tour in October).

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | July 31, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    A fantastic win for Sri Lanka once again, completing the series victorious "4-1" against a strong opponent like South Africa. Sri Lanka proved that they can still win even without their front line bowlers like Malinga n Herath and batting legends like Mahela. Mathews gained his first series victory and he couldn't have asked a better way to achieve it.

    Batting king Kumar Sangakkara once again proved why he is The Best Batsman in the world. Now he is the leading run scorer in ODI's (currently playing) with 11798 runs. He is also the top odi run scorer in 2013 - 883 runs at an avg of 73.58. What a legend. I think SA players have a lot to learn from this series, specially how to play against a world class spin attacks. Overall it was a fantastic series n there was good cricket on display. Lovely !!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 6, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    well done

  • POSTED BY on | August 6, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Congratulations to Srilanka !It was much needed work for SL but they did very well.

  • POSTED BY SL_rockz on | August 3, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    No article on Highest ODI run owner (still playing) ?????? Sangakkara the live batting legend in cricket now placed 4th in the all time list of ODI runs and still playing.He will go pass ricky as well . Why cricinfo has no articles about his achievement ???

  • POSTED BY many07 on | August 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    it all about good cricket which team play better it will win

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 1, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Best of luck sri lanka comprehensive win after lost of tri series in west indies... Any way sangakkara,Dilshan,Herath,Malinga. Played superbly in the series good luck boya keep it up

  • POSTED BY cricket_slcsupport on | August 1, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Welcome victory for SL, after series of close defeats after the World Cup, should boost their confidence for winning against a strong SA side. I hope they keep this momentum going. Good to see Dilshan taking responsibility and staying in the crease without throwing away his wicket.

    Hope we get someone like Sanath to play big shots and another Vaas. All the best, we still love you and will support.

  • POSTED BY palfeb31987 on | August 1, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    @ DINITH85 - Well, in a series between SL and RSA, where did India come into the picture. On your assessment that India can't win without Dhoni, i guess you have forgotten the spanking Kohli has given to SL in the past 2-3 years. Dhoni is a reliable player and he has finished many matches for India. But Kohli has been equally terrific as well. Also, in the Champions trophy, Dhoni didnt have an opportunity to even bat for India except in the final and in the warm up games. Kohli contributed big only in the final and in the semis (Against his favourite opposition).Even in the recently concluded Tri-series at West Indies, India has won matches without Dhoni. While Indian batting hinges on Dhoni and Kohli, its fair to say Dhawan, Rohit and to a lesser extent DK & Raina have contributed so much to the batting. For SL, only Thirimanne has been really consistent and Thisara on very few occassions.No youngsters have contributed recently. Matthews has vanished! Kusal is a failure.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Congratulations to SL for wrapping up a 4-1 winning series. It just clearly shows that if the seniors contribute SL can match and win against any team in the world. Keep up the momentum and go for a clean sweep in the shorter version.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka and Good Luck South Africa.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Other than Amla, Devilliers, Miller, Mclaren, Morkel and Tostobe I do not see any great talent in the SA side. They need to find some good talent if they are to be reckon at the highest level. With the home advantage SL looked more superior side without a doubt. However, other than Thirimanne the new set of players for SL too need to show their potential to cement their position in the side. Not only SA, to me SL too need to rectify some issues in their lineups. Other than that, yesterday Lakmal looks to be a potential prospect in seaming conditions. He should get more opportunities ahead of Eranga and might well as rest Malinga and Kule to get him more chances.

  • POSTED BY TommytuckerSaffa on | August 1, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    SA ODI squad selection is laughable. Take a look at some of these FC averages for batsmen in SA.

    Rillee Roussouw - 23yrs old - FC average 44 Dean Elgar - 26 yrs old - FC average 45 Compare this to current ODI players - Miller (29), Faff (40), Ingram (34), Berhardien 34. Imran Tahir is far more threatening and inform than R.Petersen or Phisango. Where are Marchant de lange and Abbott? Why are we not picking the best in the country?

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    An unexpected result for everyone. Proteas should have some serious thought now. The preparation & planning were lacking. Robin is nowhere as he was. They may have sent their best outfit but this combination didn't work at all but realized now. It affected the team momentum. Good thing is for them is good show by A team right now. Rudolph, Johan & McKenzie should have been here at least for this series. Its coincidental that Gary left both IND & SA struggled.

    This series means a lot to SL. They earned everything that wanted. Amazing to see the fitness of 3 seniors. Mathews got much needed confidence & control. The team has been jewelled now. Though youngsters haven't got enough opportunities, they look confident for performing within short time. Last 3 series showed consistent resilience in them. The support staff must be architect behind this. SL seems to be a serious contender for the CWC 2015. IND, ENG & SL doing well now but AUS, WI & PAK must revive for healthy competition.

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | August 1, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    @ bravetigersmustwin ; Sri Lanka , being a small island nation with a small population have been able to dominate world cricket over the years. First, they rose from minnows to the status of elite by comprehensively winning the world cup in 1996. Then the Sri Lankan legends like Sanath "Master Blaster" Jayasuriya , Aravinda "Mad Max" de Silva, Marvan Atapattu dominated Indian Cricket over a decade by defeating 'em everywhere in the world. India literally became their easiest prey. India may have had some small success over Sri lanka in last 2 years but Sri Lanka still manage to beat them by massive margins like 161 runs in WI. That clearly shows India's edge over SL is nothing but a myth. Its amazing how Sri Lanka keep producing legends like Jayasuriya, Murali, Mahela, Vass, Sanga (the best batsman in the world) and Malinga. Its quite amazing how Sri Lanka is blessed with all these legendary Cricketing talents. Wow !!

  • POSTED BY D.Pramod on | August 1, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Remember how Dilshan conspired with Suraj Randiv in denying Sehwag a century when Sehwag was on 99? Nice to see that the ball does come around and it is Dilshan who is left stranded on 99!

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    It is quite disturbing to see many ppl complaining about Dilly, Mahela and Sanga performing. One should realize that these three are world class despite they are at their late years in their career. Besides they are at their peaks in performances. Sanga becoming the highest run getter and Dilly the third in ODIs and shows simply how good they are with respect to the world. Thus they deserve their places more than anyone deserving their places in their respective teams from the whole world. And most importantly these 3 would be the pillars for SL in 2015 WC which is just two years ahead. SL did the same before 2009 WC and eventually had to bring all the seniors in to the WC directly since they were much better than the youngsters. And seniors with less matches lately resulted in a first round exit for the World Champions. I just hope Sanath would not do the same mistake and just hope that Sanga would not have to show the bat handle to the selectors as Aravinda did...

  • POSTED BY MelbourneMiracle on | August 1, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    It's amazing to see the passion that Dilshan & Sanga showed y'day. It was a dead rubber but still they didn't want to lose their wicket or lose the match any cost. Dilshan celebrates as if his 1st time when he scores a 100 or takes a wicket or a catch. I don't see that electrifying liveliness from any of the juniors. We will seriously feel a huge void of enthusiasm when the big 3 retires. Sanga is the Legend of legends. He has this unbelievable capability of tearing any bowling attack in the world apart on any surface. I honestly thought that he won't be suitable for T20's earlier but now I believe that he's a must player in the T20 XI as he has progressed his batting to be an aggressor since of late. The man gets better when he gets older.

  • POSTED BY Newlandsfaithful on | August 1, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    The only thing consistant about SA's ODI play the last few seasons is that it has been poor. They are absolute non-contenders for any sort of ODI ICC competition. The era when SA was competitive in this arena is over. I miss the genius of earlier players like the unheralded Craig Matthews whose bowling was tight and miserly as opposed to the short-ball happy spray-it-everywhere bowlers of the present. I miss the focussed batting of Kallis (I don't think we'll see the likes of him again).lus I miss the measured aggression of Cronje and Klusner. I miss the strong presence of Smith. I miss game plans that actually work. How can Bernadien face 22 balls and get 1 run - and be considered an international standard ODI player? Maybe the weakness of the local leagues is beginning to tell because the Protea players we're churning out at the moment just aren't up to scratch. Like Australia, the new guard are not worthy to mentioned in the same sentence as those who went before them.

  • POSTED BY bravetigersmustwin on | August 1, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    any team which aspire to be world no 1 must be able to beat Sri Lanka in their home. SA can never do that and no wonder they didnt beat SL in SL for 20 years. Only SL will able to play well in that kind of wicket. India too. Unorthodox bowling attack, tricky pitch, slow wicket and even luck works in SL favor because they use their strategy very well in their home condition. But exception being Indian team as they learnt every bit and pieces of SL cricket very well. Im happy India will continue its dominance on SL even when india is in worst form. This is evident with U19 performance of both the teams :)

  • POSTED BY SILVERSANGA on | August 1, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    I don't know why some still bringing out the fact that SL defeated the SA team with no Kallis, Steyn and Smith. Come on people let's give credit where it's due. SL too played without Mathews in first 2 games. And also without Herath, Mahela and Malinga in the last match? Yet we easily defeated them.

    First you said SA missing Amla but could he do anything to avoid last 2 thumping losses?

    Both Smith and Kallis played in last ODI series in SL where SA still got whitewashed 5-0! And SL had defeated SA here even when they had one of the greatest ever SA fast bowler Shaun Pollock! So what could Steyn possibly do alone if other good pace bowlers like Morkel also failed?

    In last tri-series we played without Diilshan and Kule, 2 match winners. But did we bring it as an excuse?

    Furthermore what's the matter with seniors doing well? Yes we may not be able to win without them these days but can India win without Dhoni? That's why seniors are in the team. It's the case with any other team

  • POSTED BY Marktc on | August 1, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    And as SA A destroys Oz A, we have to be ashamed of our senior side's performance..yet again.

    Time for change, AB has to lose his captaincy and WK duties. His is a brilliant batsman and that should be his role in the side. Although Faf is not in great form, I would select him as Captain. Look at the A side and select some guys who are on form as well.

  • POSTED BY ramz30380 on | August 1, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Firstly congrats Srilanka on the victory - well deserved! Extremely disappointed with South Africa's performance. What happened to the glory boys in green?! What's with their inability to face spin?! I really can't understand......

    Most of the SAian boys play IPL and hence are familiar with sub continent pitches and conditions - this cannot be given as an excuse - they are not performing as a team though some individual performances are good.....

    Is it the Kirsten factor? - Can't help comparing what Kirsten's stepping down of coach did to Indian cricket and it took sometime for the boys in blue to find their feet again.... South Africa is facing a similar situation here.....

    Happy for SL but can't oversee the fact that they are relying on their seasoned war horses - Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela. A more dominating performance by the youngsters will do them real good - its imp to remember that these stars are not getting any younger and u need to look into the future....

  • POSTED BY sam_screaming on | August 1, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Good series win for Srilanka. But still the worrying point is that apart from Dilshan, Sanga and a bit of Thirrimanna no one clicked much. Sri lankan bowlers were always going to rule the roost in srilanka (obviously because the opposition was not INdia). Sri lanka needs some serious grooming for Chandimal, Thrimanna, Kusal, etc till 2015. Chandimal is batting at 6 or 7 while the srilankans are looking at him as replacement for Mahela. He should be batting 4 or 5. Same for Thirimanna. Otherwise they will still do well in major tournament but wont win it. Also Sri Lanka needs to make sure if they want A. Mendis in side or not. Either he should be permanent or out of the team.

  • POSTED BY Prabhash1985 on | August 1, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    Kusal had too many chances. If he gets going, it's very nice, but he is not. Bring on Dimuth, without the experienced players in the begging of the innings? Why not open with those two youngsters at the same time, Thirimanna at 3, Chandimal at 4, Mathews at 5, Thisara at 6, and so on? Lakmal and Shaminda are very talented, but they need experience. Why don't you give it to them?You have to prepare the world cup team now. Will Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela, Herath stay till 2015? If not, give enough experience to youngsters, or else, we are already done with it, failed even before 2015 begins! Sri Lanka needs a test series to steady the batsmen. We have talent, but due to pressure some are not performing, and some need experience. Think about that before it's too late.

  • POSTED BY Gurudumu on | August 1, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    It beggars belief that Philander and Tahir are not playing and that, instead , you have Kleinveldt and Phangiso. The latter do not have the skills to play any form of cricket for any country. The selection process has to be looked at - I would rather not see Kleinveldt and Phangiso play for SA ever again.

  • POSTED BY C0l0mb0 on | August 1, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    Disappointing with Kushal Perera. If he picked for T20s might get worse. Its always a gamble with him now. This mach suppose to be youngsters match. Still it became old greedy run scorers show. Its always nice to see how Sanga adopting to the situation. Still, How we can messure how good is Chandimal and Angelo Perera with the bat. They bat as pure batsmen. Still they dont get a chance to bat. Its always nice to see back up bowlers deliver when they needed. Having said that Lakmal has lot to improve. He shouldnt show wat he is gonna do to the batsman. other than than that pretty happy with the match. Just hope new T20 faces will come up n shine...

  • POSTED BY theCricketPurist on | August 1, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    This was a combination of good cricket from Sri Lanka and poor cricket from South Africa. Congratulations to Sri Lanka for this! However, it's amusing to see people write that RSA will lose their test ranking. How can you compare the ODI performance with that of Test cricket. When RSA take on Pakistan in UAE, the probable team would be Smith,A Peterson, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers, DuPlessis, Duminy, Steyn, Philander, Morkel, Peterson/Tahir, and I believe this is still a formidable test team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    i think this is a good era for sri lankan cricket to show their ability. sri lanka has founded more successful plays. so they should continue their performance as they have done in previous matches. and also sri lanka work as a team and confidently. AB was disappointed by the sri lankan as earlier. i wish my team to carry out your performance throughout the t 20 series.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Excellent cricket all-around. The only disturbances to a series success is that it wasn't a whitewash, & that no real young talent did emerge all this time. It's quite obvious that the transition of A.Mendis as a successful operator once again, will do good for Sri Lanka. Got to be impressed with Dilly's bowling as well. Now there was a time that I was quite worried with the fact that he didn't get wickets. Sacithra should be given more chances to get into the side. He has some promising stuff. Considering other youngsters except Chandimal & Thirimanne (they are already permanent anyway, I guess), they should be given more tours to learn the trade. & it should be tours with quality sides. Not under-rated teams like Zim. or Ban. No offense, really. But pure cricket is only with the quality sides. So there should be frequent tours with teams like Eng., Aus., Ind. & Pak. That will always be the starting point. Wish Mathews to have all the luck he needs, to keep continuing...

  • POSTED BY aarifboy on | August 1, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Where is Philander for SA?

  • POSTED BY Nik84 on | August 1, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Seriously every team is either going down in test cricket or odis. Aus worst in test matches, SA poor in Odis, India poor in overseas Test matches only. Sril , pak NZ all poor in test matches abroad. The point is that too much T-20 cricket have made players vulnerable as they dont apply themselves now at the crease , they just want to score as quickly as possible without any application same in test matches now a days they are finished within 3 to 4 days. Poor quality of cricket is due to T-20 and it will eventually destroy the game. Already teams are suffering no one is willing to leave the ball edging boundaries and caught in slips. That time is gone when Akram, Mcgrath, sachin lara ricky pollock klusner jadeja and all used to build the inngs and then go after the bowling accordingly. Now batsman getting picked have aver of 30 and for test matches 35. Quality is gone and crowd is slowly moving to Soccer, footy and other sports. Thanks to worst cricket format T-20.

  • POSTED BY i-s-r-a-r on | July 31, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    Du plessis needs to be dropped from odi. He has not done anything significant. An average of 27 after 40+ odis is horrible.

  • POSTED BY Doolman on | July 31, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    Dismal performance. Worst series I have seen. We were completely outplayed. Some players don't deserve the green and gold. Selectors what is going on with our cricket standards. There should be some sort of action taken against players who underperform , maybe linked to monetary as well as game time. The proteas never do us proud in ODI 's. Smith must take over leadership role, we did so much better when he captained. AB must bat at three period.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    NOW is the time for England to play SA and regain the test top spot! Shame they are contractually obligated to play the Australian minnows for now! Seriously though, the absence of Steyn seems to weigh very heavy indeed. One has to wonder if the are another team about to lose it and rapidly drop down the rankings.

  • POSTED BY kumarcoolbuddy on | July 31, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Congrats to SL. They played well especially Sanga. He is the real Saviour for SL. If SL think they won against strong team SA then that would they are complacent. Not taking any credit away from SL but SA is not really a strong as some biggies missing in the team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    How anyone can suggest Firdose has been harsh on South Africa is a mystery to me. This team has lost at home to New Zealand, stumbled through the Champions Trophy and been humiliated in Sri Lanka. The batting has failed to bat the 50 overs in 3 out of 5 matches in this series and the other one they lost was rain affected and they probably wouldn't have batted the 50 overs in that one either, given the chance. Batting collapses have been embarrassingly commonplace in the last few months.

    Quite frankly some tough decisions need to be made as some of these players have had a lot of chances. Also, AB shouldn't be talking about being proud, this has been a dismal effort. What is even sadder is that what's happened on this tour it isn't a surprise.

  • POSTED BY anniyan18 on | July 31, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Congrats SL!! What a clinical performance!! Sanga and Dilshan's performance is as usual pristine! Refreshing to see young guns Thirimanne's 50 and ofcourse Sachitra ripped SA's batting line up!! It would have been fantastic if Angelo P was sent to bat after Tirimanne's wicket as SL was in a very position at that point... Couple of Kusal's innings i watched were pretty disappointing.. hopefully he will come along too.. All in all a very fantastic performance.. Cheers from an Indian cricket fan!!

  • POSTED BY saradiyal on | July 31, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Sad to see SA falling way short yet again, they are one of my favorite teams. They were expected to adapt to conditions better, you cannot blast away from the first ball in these conditions and someone needed to bat through. SL played well though.

  • POSTED BY tdslbuwa on | July 31, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Great win by the Sri Lankans...Dili and Sanga batted well today...And Thirimanne showed that if the chances are given youngsters ready to step up..Now we have to concentrate on 3 T20 games...Selectors should understand that T20 is the best format to give exposure to youngsters against a quality opposition..Also they have to understand which player belongs to which format..Please do not select Thiri to the T20 squad..Because he is not a T20 batsman..And Sanga and Dili should rest while Mahela batting in middle order...Also no need of Herath in T20 matches...There are very good young spinners like Sachithra,Akila and Tharindu Kaushal..And there is Mendis as well...My team for T20s.... Kushal,Munaweera,Chandi,Angelo Perera,Mahela,Mathewes,Thisara,Kula,Sachi,Mali,Mendis....

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | July 31, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Ms Moonda, you are somewhat hard on your countrymen. Unfairly harsh for a team without Smith, Steyn and Kallis. ABDV is an awesome player but not the skip that Smith (or even Botha) is. SL on home turf is a daunting prospect and has been since Donald, Schultz and Co. gave them what for in the nineties. But the biggest thing is the elephant in the room. When can we beat India when it really matters? SL now seems to have a mental block when it comes to the boys in light blue. I remember when the great SRT said that they would have to score a thousand runs to beat SL. What's happened?

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | July 31, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Just looking at the stats, 167 runs out of a total of 300+ were made by the 'seniors'. Just one of of the 10 wickets was taken by a 'senior'. So, the youngsters have more than played their part. I think SL's future in one day and T20 cricket is assured. Test cricket will be a lot more challenging, due to weaknesses in the fast bowling area.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | July 31, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    This guy has the bench mark for a legend: ODI Avg - 40+, ODI Runs - 11,000+, TEST Avg - 50+, TESTS Runs - 10,000+ with 30+ Centuries. He should be called among Lara, Sachin, Ricky, Dravid and Kallis as the best six batsmen to play the game, and master well above average, both formats of the game since 1995. He'll retire with 12,000+ ODI runs at 40+ with 20+ hundreds and 13,000+ Tests runs at 50+ with 40+ hundreds. Add to that, unlike many so called greats, he's scored everywhere on flat tracks, square turners, green pitches and bouncy wickets. A writer recently said he's never really made meaningful contributions to team by not carrying on from 50s, but neither has dilly or mahela who are good and entertaining batsmen on their day but not as consistent as they should be. Imagine if he plays as long as mahela as he's achieved way more things than most per matches played. He deserves all the success he's reaping in this purple patch of his.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | July 31, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Emphatic win for SL. The win is sweeter because SL had rested their best fast bowler, best spinner and arguably their finest stroke maker, for this match. The thrashing could not have been more convincing.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    great work by lankans but true we kinda depended on the senior players. .. but heroes weren't born in a day... the thing about cricket is when young player finally plays the innings of his life then he is automatically considered as a veteran. .. sl cricket wil improve amd show it when the time comes.

  • POSTED BY randikaayya on | July 31, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Weldone Sri Lanka and hard luck to Proteas! Its heartening to see the SL team doing well consistently for a period of time from England to WI to back home! If this series was anything to go by our future is in good hands too, given adequate exposure to the youngsters. But those old war horses Dilly and Sanga, you guys are just magnificent. The fighting spirit shown by these Generals is enough inspiration for a generation of new warriors to don the blue and gold lion shirt!! Its awesoem to see Mendis making a comeback and Sachithra and Thisara firing consistently! And sachinisawesome: We get it mate, you are awesome and we are not!

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | July 31, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    i just tuned in to see the match after getting in from work to find we had already won!! great effort by the younger Sri Lankan side. yes Dilly & Scored, but so did thirrimane and the bowling seems to have been really good without Herath and Malinga...to all those who say our future is bleak, try again...

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | July 31, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    It is no doubt great to see our youngsters from Thirimanne, Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis and Lakmal perform well in this match. Kushal Perera must be persisted more with.

    As for South Africa, I dont want to be too harsh on them. It just seems that Sri Lanka is their most forgetful overseas destination in cricket. SA has a superb record in all other countries in the past decade except in Sri Lanka where they have lost 3 out of their last 4 tests played and 12 out of their last 13 ODIs as well. One has to feel for them. Main issue seems their weakness against spin bowling. But it does not necessarily mean that they will struggle in UAE, where they did well in the 2010 tour. I dont want to write off the Proteas for the T20s as I am sure they will come hard at us.

    I wish if we played tests with SA this time itself rather than postponing them till June 2015. Anyway good luck to both teams for the T20s starting on Friday.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | July 31, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @sachinisawesome, forgot about Upul Tharaga's 174 in Windies? Do you know that Tharanga has the world record ODI opening stand with Jayasuriya in England? So he is not good overseas? Thirimanne's ODI ton was against Australia in Australia this year. Not convinced with Thirimane's batting today? How about Senanayake's and Mendis's bowling? Thisara Perera not good at all in spite of winning many man of the match awards? Surely his 34 runs off Pietersen that day? Not good at all?

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | July 31, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    He should not be allowed to play Tests again, instead induct someone like Sadaf Hussain, Ehsan Adil, Junaid Nadir or Rahat Ali.

    Although he should be a definite for T20's and a maybe for ODI's.

  • POSTED BY SILVERSANGA on | July 31, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Oh! Now it's guaranteed 4:1. SL should have won this 5:0 had the top order batted bit more patiently in the 3rd match because we had Tisara who could make any run rate possible. Afterall the Lions completely out played the Potreas. We are the biggest threat to South Africa from Asian region. Even India has a poor record against them.

    Well done Sri Lanka.. Mathews has improved as a leader to a certain extent. Yes still seniors doing the job for us but what's the matter? Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan all will play the next world cup. They are in the form of their life and it won't be hard for them to maintain it for another 2 years. Superb performance. Sangakkara is a legend. 75 from 44 today proving that he can step in the gas too!

    South Africa received the biggest thrashing they had recent times in cricket! What a superb performances by Lions! Before this series some expected SA to win this comfortably :) but SL proved to the world how dangerous side they are!

  • POSTED BY gtr800 on | July 31, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    So this was giving a chance to the youngsters? Are you joking? Sanga+ Dilshan still score in excess of 160+ for their team. SL don't even have confidence in their youth to shine. It's only a question of when Sanga, Dilshan, Mahela, Malinga & Herath retire. 2-4 years at best. Then I think SL are going to be topping the tables in all formats from the bottom. Talent is either non-existent or isnt' getting much of a chance. Either way SL are gone- they might be able to still maintain a relative stronghold in SL, but I don't see them winning ANY matches abroad on quicker wickets. When this was a dead rubber match and SL are not exactly going to top the rankings if they win this then they should have removed Dilshan & Sanga or make them bat lower down in the order! It may have won them this one but its not going to help in the future!

  • POSTED BY sachinisawesome on | July 31, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    I don't understand, these pitches are very flat and toss becomes a lottery as batting second in very difficult on these pitches. But does this Sri Lankan team has anyone apart from Sanga who can perform outside Sri Lanka. I don't think so. It was evident when they played in WI and were dismissed for 96 when Sanga failed. I don't think Mahela and Dilshan have ever performed outside Sri lanka consistently. And the less we talk about the youngsters the better. I think they should learn from people like Kohli, Shikhar and Rohit. Top three Indian batsmen are very solid and performed in England and Won us a CT and then again in WI. Some people were were saying England pitches were like sub continent but if that's the case then how many 300 totals were there.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | July 31, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    Yet another ordinary performance by an average ODI team against a team who always depend on two players in Sanga and Mahela for everything. I don't know which team is worst out of these 2. But I guess the team losing should be the one.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    We must realise that Sri Lankan wickets are lousy for second batting. The ball just stops to bounce. Even SL finds it difficult to chase batting second. The SL bowlers are very good to bowl on such surfaces. Since SL teams have been used to playing on such wickets, they find it much harder playing on wickets outside Sri Lanka.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    today it proved..Youngsters can bat as well as anyone when they bat at top !

  • POSTED BY RobinMama on | July 31, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    I don't think Kusal is the Right choice for the moment. When we look at the way he got out in ICC champions throphy and even today, that's the last way an opening batsmen should get him self out. May be we should give him some time to improve in his techniques and come back like Rohith Sharma did!

  • POSTED BY Htc-Android on | July 31, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    The game was already lost when they picked Lakmal over Eranga. Lakmal cant ball with the new ball, cant ball at the death. I dont know why they picked him.Unless Mendis and Sachitra do some magic, we have no chance of winning it.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    Amazing Sanga,Amazing,You are a ambassador of Sri Lanka cricket.We salute to you and All best Sri lanka!!!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    kusal.... you need to learn from seniors. .. you should not waste your talents

  • POSTED BY RobinMama on | July 31, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Completely agree with you Samitha Suranjan Dharmasiri! That was really stupid. All we needed was just a competitive score and make sure youngsters are given chances. We didn't want series top scores to score from the begining to end.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Amazing Sanga,Amazing,You are a Ambassador of sri lanka cricket.We salute to you and All best Sri Lanka!!!

  • POSTED BY fr600 on | July 31, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    This is one of the worst (probably the worst) South African team in the history of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    So sad. We Sri Lankans always know we have failed to make a proper middle order and we fail if Sanga , Mahela And Dili failed . I dont estimate this knock as a good knock by SL . When 179/2 i thought Chandimal and Angelo Perera will have the chance . Sadly Sanga came after that and followed by Mattews . When we give the proper chance to the middle order . i see middle order Only have the chance when all the other players out because difficult to bat . So then how does inexperience middle order does . We have unable to capitalize on a match does not matter won or lost . So Sad we are not getting ready for the next world cup .

  • POSTED BY Blade-Runner on | July 31, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Sanga..Sanga..Sanga..You beauty..Wow!! What a knock.. 75 from 45 deliveries. SR: 166.66. :D He is best batsmen in the world.What a legend.

    He is obviously the top ODI scorer 2013 - 883 runs @ a SR of 92.07 from 15 innings averaging 73.68. :D

    Dilshan n Thirimanne also played wonderful innings. It was too bad that Dilly missed his 100.

    I hope all those people who wanted to see SL young talents watched how Thirimanne batted today. He could have easily gone for his 100 today, but he put team goals in front of his personal goals n tried to accelerate the innings n got out.

    Now lest see how Saffas chase this massive total. :)

  • POSTED BY Jimi01 on | July 31, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    I really have no words for Sangakkara, he is a machine. Plus it was great to see Sri Lankan youngsters do well.

    But quite sad to see SA team stoop so low, I admire them alot.

  • POSTED BY IndianCoolGuy on | July 31, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Again SL proved that it depends a lot on Old Horses.

  • POSTED BY RobinMama on | July 31, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    So that was the great chance given for the youngsters to groom and shine. Well done! Series top scores are included and they've supported the youngsters to rise and shine as always! Awesome!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Need 300 hundred

  • POSTED BY ilililililililililililililx on | July 31, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    It is good to see one of my fave batsman firing again. Dilshan

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 31, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Wonderful knock

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    great partnship

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    its nice to see young guns firing. .

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 31, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    What a partnership. I think thirimanne aim to 100. Congrats lions.

  • POSTED BY Ramansilva on | July 31, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    I think Kusal Perera had enough chances to prove but he continue to disappoint. It was too premature for some people to compare him to Sanath Jayasuriya. He cannot be compared to Sanath even in his late middle order days.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Can't believe a guy like Behardien is playing international cricket and that too for South Africa. Maan, the bench strength is really dry, if he can play. I haven't seen him score at all and he just doesn't look like an international. God help AS.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Can't believe a guy like Behardien is playing international cricket and that too for South Africa. Maan, the bench strength is really dry, if he can play. I haven't seen him score at all and he just doesn't look like an international. God help AS.

  • POSTED BY Ramansilva on | July 31, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    I think Kusal Perera had enough chances to prove but he continue to disappoint. It was too premature for some people to compare him to Sanath Jayasuriya. He cannot be compared to Sanath even in his late middle order days.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 31, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    What a partnership. I think thirimanne aim to 100. Congrats lions.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    its nice to see young guns firing. .

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    great partnship

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 31, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    Wonderful knock

  • POSTED BY ilililililililililililililx on | July 31, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    It is good to see one of my fave batsman firing again. Dilshan

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 31, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Need 300 hundred

  • POSTED BY RobinMama on | July 31, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    So that was the great chance given for the youngsters to groom and shine. Well done! Series top scores are included and they've supported the youngsters to rise and shine as always! Awesome!

  • POSTED BY IndianCoolGuy on | July 31, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Again SL proved that it depends a lot on Old Horses.