Sri Lanka v South Africa, 1st ODI, Colombo July 6, 2014

Priyanjan's slog, Kallis' misery

Plays of the day from the first ODI between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo

The bashful bash

Whether in the middle, or at press conferences, Hashim Amla can be shy about appreciations of his ability, choosing often to deflect praise and dwell on collective success. So it might have suited him when a milestone in his innings was overshadowed by a piece of poor cricket. Amla tried to launch Ashan Priyanjan into the sightscreen in the 23rd over, but managed only to loft it towards long on. Running in from the fence, Thisara Perera did well to get to the ball, but let the chance bounce out of his grasp. With the crowd fixated on replays of the spill, barely anyone noticed the single that took Amla to his fifty.

The "that's how I play" dismissal

Tasked with bridging the major gap between domestic and international cricket, young Sri Lanka batsmen are given a lot of rope at the start of their careers. At the Premadasa, Priyanjan used his lengths of cordage to hang himself. Imran Tahir had bowled himself into rhythm in his second spell and was turning it as sharply as any spinner had managed in the day, but Priyanjan thought it wise to step down the pitch and aim an almighty slog over midwicket - against the turn. Almost predictably, the ball took his top edge and settled in the hands of short third man. Priyanjan looked once at an unimpressed Kumar Sangakkara at the other end, and turned to leave.

The hoots

Where most boo when they see something they dislike, the Colombo crowd express emotions via playful rounds of hooting - a practice even the country's president has been subjected to at the cricket. Last year, Morne Morkel had the biggest hooting ovation, when he dropped his trousers to adjust his undergarments at the boundary. This year, Imran Tahir was at the receiving end. Upon dismissing Priyanjan, Tahir took off on his customary, flailing run, ending up alone at square leg while his teammates decided to form the huddle elsewhere. The Premadasa crowd though, saw Tahir's animation, and the way he beat his chest, and unleashed their high-pitched hoots in unison. They did not stop for almost a minute.

The inauspicious return

Having played only four ODIs in 2013, and retired from Tests since, Jacques Kallis did his best to put his official comeback in doubt, putting his back out before the warm-up match on Thursday. When he was cleared to play on Sunday, he was hardly there at all. Kallis did not bowl and his stay at the crease lasted two balls. He defended one ball from Angelo Mathews before playing around a carrom ball from Ajantha Mendis to be caught plumb in front.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    Hi Mathews 1. Tirimanne should play at 4th spot. 2.Tissara should be included in the team. 3. Mahela either should open or at spot 5. He is some one needed rotation at various spot. $. Our team mentality should be made strong. Eg Meditation. 5. Spinners needed rotation. WE expect Rangana and Mendis combination. 6. Kusal Pereira should play more team conscious and play the long game should not throw his wicket like grade 4 .

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    what about Kaushal in for mahela.

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Darkness And Bad Batting Cost Sri Lanka The Match. Our Young Cricketers Don't Have The Mental Toughness. See How Sanga Bats, They Had Only To Support Him, By Holding One End Up, Sanga Would Have Done The Rest, Sanga Was Just Brilliant Yesterday. I Think Kusul Silva Should Be In The Team, He Has Good Technic And Defence. Good Luck For The 2nd Match.

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    Thirimanne has been overrated. He literally had only 3-4 good matches out of the many that he had. Chandimal is a better player but is a player that should bat at 4 instead of being a finisher. Thissara Perera is the most promising of the younger generation and must be ahead of Priyanjan. The only problem with Perera is that while his bowling is aggressive, he also leaks a lot of runs. One must also question Ajantha Mendis's inclusion in the side. He really is not a long term option that Sri Lanka should be looking for. Rangana Herath should have replaced Mendis and when another spinner comes along, should be slowly introduced. I think Senanayake could be the next big thing... That is, if his action comes out clean

  • Edwin on July 7, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    This Thirimanna is a total waste of a spot in the team. We need to find a consistent performer with the bat and ball for this spot. Angelo perera, bhanuka rajapakshe ......

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 22:18 GMT

    If Sri Lanka really wants to win or at least to square the ODI series, Thirumane, like a good sportsman, patriotic to Sri Lanka Cricket, should stand down, allowing 1) Tissara, 2)Chandimal or 3) Vithanage to get a place. The selectors can do any damn by selecting for the Test, but for ODI and T20 he's total disaster. The selectors should be patriotic to the country first before the players.

  • shane on July 6, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    It's simple after mahela & sanga we need to find a new game. Got to question what thirimanne doing in the team no brain nor talent!

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    Drop Tirimanne and Mahela to include Tisara Perera and Chandimal.

  • Lahiru on July 6, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    At least Priyanjan tried to play a wild slog to score runs. I can't understand what is the role of Sri Lanka's vice captain in this team ? He isn't an all rounder or a big hitter but still bats at No 7 . Thisara Perera is not playing in the team and Sri Lanka's most promising young batsman Chandimal is out of the squad to accommodate Thirimanne who looks like a talented soft ball cricketer at the moment.

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