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Plays of the Day from the first Twenty20 international between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo
Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo
August 2, 2013
The poor shot
Faf du Plessis has perhaps been the worst of South Africa's batsmen this tour, and his latest dismissal served to illustrate how clueless he has been against spin in Sri Lanka. As Sachithra Senanayake arrived at his delivery stride, du Plessis began to shuffle to the off side, seemingly intent to hit the ball to leg. Just as Senanayake bowled, though, he had a change of heart. Quickly he attempted to reassume his normal stance and stepped back, prodding at the ball, now hoping to do no more than defend it down the pitch. All that moving around had put him off, though, and by the time du Plessis offered a shot, Senanayake's straighter one had slipped past him and hit off stump.
The adamant appeal
With Kumar Sangakkara showing signs of the same sublime touch with which he tormented South Africa in the ODIs, the visitors' desperation to see his back spilled over into an animated appeal, with the batsman on 24. David Wiese bowled an offcutter for his first ball in international cricket, and seeing some width, Sangakkara went back to cut it. He couldn't connect as he wished, though, with the ball going close to his top edge, perhaps even grazing it. Behind the stumps, Quinton de Kock began celebrating immediately, with Wiese and the surrounding fielders quickly joining in. They then sported looks of disbelief when the umpire refused to raise his finger, with de Kock even requesting a review with some agitation, forgetting one was not available for this match.
The wasted reprieve
AB de Villiers had seen his side fluff chances in the field throughout the ODI series, then watched Sri Lanka's batsmen flourish in their second life, but when he was finally granted a reprieve in this match, he was unable to make Sri Lanka pay for it. He was dropped by Dinesh Chandimal at midwicket, pulling Angelo Mathews in the 11th over, but next ball, went for an ambitious upper cut of a back-of-a-length delivery, and managed to hit the ball in the air only as far as Kusal Perera, who ran in from the sweeper-cover fence to complete a good take.
South Africa had incrementally won over the advantage by the 18th over of Sri Lanka's innings, but it was Wayne Parnell's fearless double-wicket maiden in the 19th that effectively secured the match. He began with two angled length balls, which Senanayake failed to squeeze away for a single, before Parnell banged in a bouncer heading for Senanayake's throat. The next ball was a slower one, which Senanayake lobbed to the keeper, and Lasith Malinga fared no better, missing a back-of-a-length ball before slicing a low full toss to point, to leave Sri Lanka nine down.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets hereFeeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando
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