Sri Lanka v South Africa, 5th ODI, Colombo

Dilshan's skip and anti-climax

Plays of the Day from the fifth ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo

Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo

July 31, 2013

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled on 99, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 5th ODI, Colombo, July 31, 2013
Tillakaratne Dilshan fell short of his 18th hundred by one run, an anti-climax for the crowd in Colombo © AFP
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The merciful end
One run off 22 deliveries constitutes a poor innings in almost any ODI, but in a chase of over 300, it is nearly unforgivable. Farhaan Behardien has had fine moments with the ball in this series, but his final innings in the series was one he'd hope the selectors were not watching closely. Uncomfortable against the pace of Thisara Perera and clueless against Ajantha Mendis, who dismissed Behardien for 2 and 0 in his two other matches in the series, he missed, prodded and left his way into a hole, from which escape grew less likely with every dot ball. Although South Africa were already four down inside 20 overs at the time, it seemed a minor blessing when he fell, attempting to loft Perera through the leg side.

The anti-climax
If there is any batsman who is least likely to be nervous in the nineties, it's one who scored three figures in the last match, but as the Premadasa crowd prepared to celebrate what would have been Tillakaratne Dilshan's 18th ton, he hit a wall of doubt and gave his wicket away. Cleverly, Ryan McLaren aimed yorkers at Dilshan on 99, and though the bowler did not always hit the blockhole, a tentative Dilshan could not force a run in four deliveries. The fifth ball tailed into the batsman, who should have been equal to it given his longevity at the crease and his fluency before that over, but a half-hearted drive allowed the ball to slip past and strike middle stump.

The skip
Dilshan doesn't hold back when celebrating, whether it's a hundred, a wicket or a fine catch. But his joy took an unprecedented form when he removed JP Duminy in the 11th over, to the amusement of the crowd. Breaking out in a synchronised double windmill with his arms first, Dilshan then moved into a dainty skip around the square, whooping as his team-mates trailed after him. Dilshan is so often a figure of aggression and machismo on the field, but pigtails and a picnic basket might have nicely completed the aesthetic for this jaunt.

The finish
With 75 not out off 45 balls, Kumar Sangakkara completed the most profitable bilateral series for any Sri Lanka batsman, and his final stroke epitomised his present form and complete dominance over the South Africa attack. Walking down the pitch even before the delivery left Morne Morkel's hand, Sangakkara received a back of a length delivery outside off stump - Morkel perhaps reasoning that length would prevent Sangakkara from making use of his forward momentum. It was not to be. In an instant, Sangakkara set himself for the pull, and arching his back, launched the ball flat over midwicket for four, bringing noise in the stadium to a crescendo.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

@kingOwl- is a wicketkeeper not an allrounder who is foccussed a huge amount of time, so sanga had a great allround series

Posted by 9ST9 on (August 1, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

The argument in favor of Dilshan being the man of the series is most of his wickets were big ones and came at key moments. I think he had a huge impact with the ball. But then again Sanga's batting was pure class and an absolute joy to watch. And it WAS his 169 that set the tone for the whole series. At the end of the day they both deserved it !!!

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (August 1, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Sanga - The Legend of legends!

Posted by Blade-Runner on (August 1, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

@KingOwl ; Sanga not only scored 372 runs (100 runs more than Dilly) but also featured in 11 dismissals - 9 catches n 2 stumpings. So I thought Sanga deserved it more than Dilly.

Posted by KingOwl on (August 1, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

Although I have no problems about Sanga getting the man of the series award, I think Dilshan should have been the winner for his all round performances.

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