Sri Lanka v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Pallekele

All-round Dilshan overpowers South Africa

The Report by Firdose Moonda

July 9, 2014

Comments: 106 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka 267 (Dilshan 86, McLaren 4-48) beat South Africa 180 (Amla 101, Malinga 4-24) by 87 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Hashim Amla targets the leg side, Sri Lanka v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Pallekele, July 9, 2014
Hashim Amla became the fastest to 14 ODI centuries © Associated Press
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Thirteen is thought to be the number of misfortune. For Hashim Amla and South Africa, it was the opposite until today.

On the 13 occasions before this one when Amla has scored an ODI century, South Africa have emerged victorious. He recorded his 14th century - becoming the quickest to the mark - in Pallekele but the result was not in his team's favour.

Tillakaratne Dilshan's enterprise in the first ten overs and wickets in the middle and latter portions of the South African chase bookended a the Sri Lankan comeback and ensured the three-match series will go to a decider on Saturday. Dilshan raced to a half-century in 40 balls to set Sri Lanka up for a competitive total and then ended South Africa's biggest partnership - 75 between Amla and AB de Villiers - to clear Sri Lanka's path to victory.

South Africa were 101 for 2 in the 20th over when Dilshan lured de Villiers forward with a flighted delivery but the South African captain could not clear long-on. He was comfortably caught by the substitute fielder Thisara Perera well inside the field to spark a mini-collapse. South Africa lost five wickets for 26 runs with Dilshan claiming three of those and the gash was too big for even Amla, who scored his second successive ODI century, his third in four matches and his third on this tour so far, to mend.

The visitors' shortcomings were further highlighted by a much improved Lasith Malinga, who took wickets at the top and tail of the South African innings, and the loss Dale Steyn. The pace spearhead had bowled 2.2 overs when he was struck on the right thumb after Dilshan drilled the ball back at him. Steyn was taken for an x-ray which revealed severe bruising. Though there wasn't a fracture, he will need to be monitored over the next few days to determine his availability for the rest of the tour.

What will hearten South Africa is that Steyn batted for 35 minutes. He appeared in discomfort at times but scored 23 runs and starred in a 53-run stand with Amla that almost gave South Africa the unlikeliest of resurgences.

Steyn batted with a resolve that was absent in some of his team-mates, most worryingly Jacques Kallis. After Quinton de Kock was bowled by Malinga from around the wicket, it was up to Kallis to build a foundation in the chase but he lasted only seven balls before being bounced out by the same bowler.

Despite Steyn's injury, Kallis did not bowl either, which has left his contribution in the series to just one run in two matches and he has been thoroughly outplayed by his competitor in the all-rounders department, Ryan McLaren. Although McLaren was dismissed cheaply, overcome by the pressure created by the spinners, he dismissed four batsmen at the death of the Sri Lankan innings, including three in one over, to curb their charge.

Sri Lanka's lower order implosion - five wickets for 11 runs - was sparked by Mathews edging McLaren to the keeper. The Sri Lankan captain had contributed to his team's highest stand of the innings, 71-runs with Mahela Jayawardene which ensured the efforts of Dilshan upfront were not squandered.

Jayawardene had battled through the stranglehold Imran Tahir and JP Duminy created and the trouble he had with legspinner's googly. He eventually fell to a wrong 'un but ushered Mathews through a tricky middle-overs period to help build a competitive total in the same mentoring way as Dilshan had handled his stand with Lahiru Thirimanne.

By the time Thirimanne, who was promoted to No. 4 arrived at the crease, Dilshan already had a half-century, had single-handedly got Sri Lanka's scoring rate above six an over before South Africa began to rein Sri Lanka in. Tahir, Duminy, McLaren and Morne Morkel conceded only 44 runs between the 10th and 19th overs. Thirimanne could only score slowly and eventually succumbed to frustration when he hit Tahir straight to mid-wicket but the 62 runs he put on with Dilshan were crucial to Sri Lanka's chances.

Soft dismissals aside, Sri Lanka batted with a good enough understanding of the surface to ensure they would not have to rue mistakes. Similarly, their lapses in the field which included two dropped catches - Amla on 67 and Miller on 0 - can be overlooked because they did not prove too costly even though Amla moved on to a three-figures. Instead they will focus on the advantage their spinners gave them. Dilshan, Sachitra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis bowled 24.1 overs between them and their six wickets cost only 102 runs. The Sri Lankan performance was not perfect but it did not have to be.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by VikumHerath on (July 11, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

@Ayesh Buddima: Don't worry, 29 yr old Tharanga will never ever play for SL in the National Team!

Strangely the man labelled as a stumbling block & condemned as a chaser of swinging ball around off, happens to be the Best SL Batsmen with an Av 34.5 in Eng/NZ/Aus/WI/SA... SL record holder for Consistency, being the Fastest to score first 1000 runs, 2nd best batting CONSISTENCY, being the 2nd fastest to top 5000 runs! Also a world record holder for building the highest number of 7x 200+ partnerships! 5252 runs- Av 34 -S/R 73.66.

He has also recorded 13 big centuries, 28 Fifty pluses & 11 man-of-the-match titles playing around the world with a SL highest individual score of unbeaten 174* vs WI @ bouncy Kingston! His Current batting form:Leading in Recent Super 4's Twenty20 Tournament stats, scoring 157 Runs from just 3 innings S/R of 155.44 with 2 x 50s Av 52.3!

I hope all of you who try to ruin an asset, will remember these facts before making false statements without any stats/proof

Posted by   on (July 11, 2014, 6:04 GMT)

@Suranga If you think Dilshan has scored many centuries and has a better average than Mahela because of Dilshan is a oppening batsman. Ok will check Mahela with other batsman who are batting at same possition, Mahela has scored 16 centuries from 419 matches at the average of 32. AB deviliars batting at same place has scored 16 centuries just from 161 matches at the average of 49.So think when the ABD played same amount of matches to Mahela , how many centuries will have scored???may be around 50 Centuries. So why is this big difference? That's why mahela is said HIGHLY overated batsman than his actuall stats.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 21:52 GMT)

@Romesh Perera, Yes Dilshan has scored more ODI hundreds than Mahela & Sanga, You know why he is always opening the inning where as Sanga and Mahela Always bats at different positions.. IF Dilshan playing in NO 4 or NO 5 do you think that he will score well like Mahela ?? Also please check Mahela's ODI record as a opening batsmen. 4 hundreds and 7 50's in 32 matches.....?

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 18:20 GMT)

u guys should also remember about sl tour in aus which kusal started to reserve a place in sl squad he played really well there so remember again about that

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

I don't know why some of the guys need to replace mahela & kusal can u guys name a better big game player than mahela? if u says kusal should be replaced with tharanga I would like to remember you he was the biggest burden of sl team few years ago his offstump awareness & slow strike rate cost us many matches even sanga took sometime to settle down as a good batsmen so we should give more chancea to kusal to settle anyway as I think what sri lanka missing is a good finisher so we should replace priyanjan with thisara or kithruwan also kule's bowling is not effective now he performs once in a blue moon so we should replace him with lakmal

Posted by Lion_96 on (July 10, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

@ Codandchips, I see your point mate. I am actually FOR sending the younger batsmen in. But I think, that would work if Jayawardene was in form (which isnt at the moment). However, in the long run, Sri Lanka needs to keep Thirimanne in the top 4 atleast, because he needs time to settle in before he gets going. And once he starts, hes pretty good to watch and we cant keep relying on the big three all the time. And thats actually one of the reasons for our success this year, as our younger players have actually stepped up and performed.

Posted by Andrew-Silva on (July 10, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

@cricfan100 : Look at SA opener Amla & try to understand the necessity of a solid opener, who can play a long inning in any condition! Unlike T20, building a substantial total in 50 Overs based on this factor. We all repeatedly saw how comical Kusal could be in conditions other than a flat-deck coupled with a surrounding conducive to zero movement/bounce! A guy without having any technique to handle spin/pace/swing or bounce naturally becomes a walking wicket! He proved it by failing to survive beyond 18 balls in 8 consecutive ODIs in ENG/WI/Ire, Av 6.9 & an Av 18.8 from 24 ODIs without Bang!

Tharanga had scored 1687 Runs (51 Odis with 2 N/O) in Eng/Aus/SA/WI/NZ at an Ave of 34. By the way, this is the BEST EVER overall batting Average Recorded by a SL player in those 5 countries to date.! This answers your funny allegation about his ability to handle swing/bounce. Make-shift OPENER was slotted to do the job & ended-up as an eternal failure, leaving poor Sanga to carry the burden.!

Posted by fazald on (July 10, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

Like England South Africa too don't seem to have recovered from thir defeat at the hands of the aussies four months ago in South Africa. They also lost their captain Graeme Smith after the 2-1 defeat. Their batsmen barring Amla and Di Villiers have let them down and their bowlers in Steyn, Morkell and Phillander don't look as dangerous as they were an year ago. Since Kallis decided to call it quits they haven't performed very well. Though he has made a comeback for the ODI's against Sri Lanka he looks a shadow of his former self and nearing the end of his cricketing career altogether. Flaf du Plesis who made a tremendous impact in his debut against Australia only 2 years ago seems to have lost his spot in the team. I wonder what's happened to South African cricket in recent times and their fighting spirit? I also noticed during the recent home series against the ausies the spectator numbers had dwindled drastically. It would be sad to see South African cricket end up like the Windies

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

Despite the win I feel the Sri Lankan team composition needs a drastic change. There is no room for both Thirimanna and Mahela in the middle order since both take long time to settle in. Due to the experience Mahela is hard to ignore. If Thirimanna is looking to find form he should do it at domestic level. Instead he should be replaced by a left handed strike maker like Kithruwan or may Jeevan Media should be given a go at International level. The inclusion of Thirimanna is only dragging back a already feeble middle order.

Posted by Prem2248 on (July 10, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

To bat like Amla you should have lightening reflex with vast array of controlled strokes. To pick such batters you need, kind of selectors they have in England & India. For ODIs&Tests the most ideal Team that we have is; BATTERs:NDickwella(Sc'boy Cricketer of the Y 2012 & the highest run getter of the last Domestic LO t'ment),KausalS,Chandimal,Mathews,AngeloP (Sc'boy Batsman of the Y 2009) ,RoshenS(most consistent batter since 2007, Top run getter of the Domestic LO t'ment of B'desh);BOWLERS: MalindaPushpakumara(most OS left-arm leggie since 07),TharinduKhausal (a Star of Youth WC 2012 leading Wkt taker in Domestic Cricket)or Sachthra,Ajantha, Malinga, Eranga or Lakmal. Other BATTINGOPTIONS:KusalJ, Bhanuka,ShehanJ,KusalMendis,SadeeraS,PWaduge,AshenS,GMneshan, PWickremasinghe,LAbeyrathna,ShehanF, , …& other qualtyALLROUNDERS like Umesh Karunarathna(Sc'boy Cricketer of the Y 2008) , PriyamalPerera&AnukFernando (Y WC 2014)

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

Kulasekara should be dropped, as both his batting and bowling are failing miserably. Bring back someone like Maharoof, Prasad, or K Weeraratne to replace him.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 10, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

To me the Sri Lanka batting line-up looks unbalanced. No doubt they are a fabulous team with fabulous players, but I wonder how many runs they would score if they changed the order slightly. Thirimanne at 4 and Jayawardene at 5 seems to send the run rate in the wrong direction by the time they come in to bat. It's something I noticed when Sri Lanka played against England. Dilshan impressed many of us England fans by the mature way he played at the top. If Jayawardene is moved up to 4, surely having Dilshan, Sangakarra and Jayawardene in the top 4 provides enough stability and class, and would allow a finisher to add the impetus that is lacking at the end of the innings. Any thoughts Sri Lankan fans? No offense intended, just an opinion. Food for thought.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

I do totally agree with the comments of Ajith Dias A'gunawardena. My personal view is that for the final ODI, Kula should be rested and replaced with Tissara P.

Posted by neo-galactico on (July 10, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

The greatest concern for AB should be how poor the team has been chasing under his captaincy. One of the things SA used to do well was chase under Cronje and Smith, but glancing at the averages of the players when chasing it is a concern (especially AB's average).

Posted by SICHO on (July 10, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

Jamie Moneghan it's just you. You know very well that Johnson never went for less than 8 an over at the IPL, even some Indian tail enders who never played int'l cricket were hitting him for sixes. Does that mean he lost mojo and fear factor?.... These pitches are dead pitches and don't offer anything to quick bowlers. Besides. ODIs and Test cricket are very different.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 7:27 GMT)

Is it just me or has Steyn completlely lost his mojo and fear factor? He was taken apart in the IPL as looked pretty ordinary there as looked short of his genuine pace. Can any SA fans add anything to this , as is he still carrying a injury from Australian test series? Just hasn't looked the same for a while now and would love him to get that venom back as the world needs the super quick aggressive bowlers.

Posted by Rosh1 on (July 10, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

What has happened to Kule's batting? In his last 9 International innings his scores are 9,0,0,5,0,9,1,1,0. His bowling looks mediocre as well. It is time that he is replaced soon.

Posted by AltafPatel on (July 10, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

Kallis should decide whether he wants to be hurdle in WC 15 campaign or leave behind wish for WC trophy. He is blocking man in form, duPessis. In last 9 matches, he has scored 130 runs at average of 14. In recent IPL, when he put himself out of KKR following poor form, the team won all 9 remaining matches there by winning the trophy.

Posted by Lion_Wallaby on (July 10, 2014, 6:36 GMT)

@anoop3301, WoW!!! what a team you have got! SL is the team which got white washed in England,Aus,SA, and NZ!! Not only in Test in every format of the game. India got the best bowlers in the world and batters who could score anywhere in the world!! Just won the Asia cup/T20 WC beating SL!!! What a team!!!

Posted by ksquared on (July 10, 2014, 6:31 GMT)

Win is a win but still the batting was really disappointing. Apart from Dilshan, Sanga and Mathews the others looked totally at sea. I think Mahela should be opening with Dilshan because Kusal is squandering chance after chance and heaping pressure on Sanga and Dilshan plus Mahelas inability to tackle Thahir. The biggest problem I see is the lower order batting which is disgraceful. Kulasekeras lack of confidence with the ball has spilt onto his batting and he looks more like a no. 11 batsman. Replace Kula with Lakmal and maybe add Vithanage instead of Kusal. Thisara Pereras inclusion depends on the pitch in Hambantota but I would like to see him instead of Priyanjan.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

congratz SL.anyway sl have to improve some areas.thisara should be in at no 7. kula has to do some hard home work.gd luck. . .

Posted by anoop3301 on (July 10, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

@ Sinhaya :The comparisons of first 15 and 32 years does not make much sense because SL had more exposure in its first 15 years than India had in its first 40 years.The ideal comparison should be between India from 1970s and SL from 1980s. India had won World Cup just 9 years after it started playing ODI cricket where as SL took 21 years to do so.India has won its first test match in SL soon after they started playing each other where as SL is yet to replicate the same in India even after 3 decades ! I agree with you that SL has won ODI tournaments outside Asia but these were not global tournaments like ODI World Cup, World Championship of Cricket, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy etc which India has won outside sub continent. I would give credit to SL for winning Asia Cup and World T20 this year but I am sure there will be SL fans looking for excuses if it was India which won these 2 events. If proof is required, please visit the champions trophy 2013 comments page.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

Kusal has to learn tricks of bowlers, Kula is completely out of form. Thisara must be improved as a batsmen as he cannot bowl long spells.Service of Rangana is vital. Mahela has to curtail his lagging confidence . Dilshan must be given more opportunities to bowling. Once these aspects are fulfilled its sure Lions could roar on any cricketing side in the world and this is what we should do before the next world cup.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 10, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

@anoop3301, I dont know what is your wish but we registered test match and test series wins in Pakistan well before India managed to do so. You people earlier said we are yet to win a test series in England and now that has happened. We were called bridesmaids and chokers but we won Asia Cup and T20 world cup ending those labels. In 1997 we won the Independence Cup in India just 15 years after getting test status. So we have achieved a lot for the 32 years since becoming a test playing nation. We also have won ODI tournaments outside Asia too.

After not playing test cricket for 9 months last year, so far out of the 7 tests this year, we have won 3 losing 1 which shows we are in good form.

Posted by wapuser on (July 10, 2014, 4:46 GMT)

Playing Thisara for seventh position is making tailenders more longer. SL need proper batsman for that position. At the moment try between Chandimal and Kithurun may be the answer. Kulasekara can bounce back. Lakmal can replace Kula if number seven batsman strong.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

Anoop - Its not a big deal. India is no better in foreign countries. Its just that India has played in foreign countries decades more than SL that they have won more matches. They only have a win percentage of 12.5% in foreign soil.

Posted by wapuser on (July 10, 2014, 4:11 GMT)

You can't replace kula with tp. That's pathetic. Tp is a good player but can't trust his bowling, surely he can't bowl 10 overs. According to the pitch he should play instead of ashen or menda. Kula is having a bit of a rough time, after a very successful year or so. Even though tranga is a good player , kusal is playing exactly what he is there to. Once he get the start he should convert them to big scores, that's where he should improve. Congratulations and best of luck for the next game lions

Posted by ms2000 on (July 10, 2014, 4:11 GMT)

Grat Win and some sort of justification for Thirimanna's inclusion. Kulasekera is out of form. He should be dropped and bring back Thissara. Priyanjan can be replaced by Chaturanga . Kusal seems the most poor batsmen at the top. better drop him for th next match. Let him understand his responsibilty better. Just forget the comments by Indians. No use to reply them we we are much superior than the Indian team in al formats of the game.

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

If Paul farbrace or Tom moody they will suggest mahela to bat as an opener since he scored well and quick and he looks more comfortable with dilly . sanga all time number 3 then following chandimal then thiri then mathews and thisara this is the batting line up for any wicket in the world . selectors kindly look into this . This batting order can make wonder. look back in Australia how they were consistent the moment mahela open with dilly fortune changed and they went into final. Australian wicket suits mahela batting style as an opener. chandi as well at 4 . kusal will be passenger in Australian wicket except Sydney wicket that suits sri lanka batting. not much bounce and kinda spinning track and short square boundaries. Kulasekar need to bat at the nets more . plus work hard on bowling along with vassi. All the best for wc

Posted by anoop3301 on (July 10, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

@Sinhaya: I don't think any Indian fan wished SA to whitewash SL simply because they are not good enough. But we are waiting for one of our major wishes to happen. SL winning a test match in Ind or Aus. A test match at least ! We are not talking of Test Series.

Posted by 9ST9 on (July 10, 2014, 3:51 GMT)

It was good to see Thirimanne Struggling but getting a bit of a confident boosting knock out in the middle. Now all he needs is a fifty to get that mental strength promising late order batting by Priyanjan too - this is probably what SL need of him. He has already played a couple of rescue/stabilize innings but he should also prove his ability to score rapidly when the platform is set. Finally what an Innings from Amla this guy is in unbeleivable form.

Posted by jj0685 on (July 10, 2014, 3:49 GMT)

@Compton-Effect. How many people have predicted the demise of Sri Lankan cricket after the retirement of great players, they have been all proved wrong. When Aravinda, Attapattu & Arjuna retired or more recently with Murali & Vaas retired. Sri Lanka has always had the ability to find new good talent. Remember people saying that Sri Lanka would never win a Test match after Murali retired. They have won many since then. All the sceptics have been proved wrong. So when Sanga,Mahila and Dil retire, the next generation of cricketers will fill that void and Sri Lanka will prosper.

Posted by katch47 on (July 10, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

Sri Lanka's lower order batting is appalling. They could be excused for last sunday's performance because it was a chase.but what about yesterday??? 5 wickets for 11 runs? you can't do the same mistake twice when playing against a good team like South Africa. Sri Lanka need to do homework. it doesn't matter they play at overseas or home

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 3:22 GMT)

it seems that there are few regular sri lankan critics who regularly underestimate our team and make predictions like 3-0 whitewashes but they are wrong each time,,,i dont know what there problem is really with our team....cricket is not a relegion in our country and for us wining or losing is nothing and we dont act childish in defeat unlike some other countries where these critics live,,,anyway worry about your own teams failure without worrying about our teams overratedness or talentlessness is all i have to say...thank you

Posted by kovinbuddi on (July 10, 2014, 3:10 GMT)

Kulasekera's form is a real problem of concern.Amla thrashed a boundaries for Kulasekera's every over.Thirimanne played a better innings yesterday. The only two players who can resist Sri lanka are Amla and De Villiers.Once they are gone match is on SL hands.We will see better cricket next few days.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 10, 2014, 3:05 GMT)

Where are the Indian fans who predicted a whitewash for SA? I am eagerly waiting for their response as their wish has now been shattered.

Posted by Lion_96 on (July 10, 2014, 2:49 GMT)

Just a note on Kallis. Don't write this legend off! Hes quite rightly, regarded as one of the Modern Greats and they do not go too long without scoring. However his record against Sri Lanka isn't as impressive as it is against other teams. And remember, he hasnt played any competitive cricket since the Boxing Day Test last season. So to come to foreign conditions in which they have often struggled with in the past (South Africa have only won 3 ODIs against SL in SL since 1993) is tough ask for anyone. But if some one told me to choose between Jacques & Faf, I would choose the great man any day. South Africa need that experience at the top with Smith retiring.

Posted by Dulanz on (July 10, 2014, 2:49 GMT)

This is the correct batting lineup and no need to change that. Thiri should bat at No.4 and Mahela at 5. It will settle down the middle order. Just in case if Dilshan fails Kusal should be there to put pressure on the opposition. Only worry is Kula's bowling and hopefully he'll come back to good form.

Feel really sorry for Kallis. Wanna see him in WC.

Posted by Dulanz on (July 10, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

For all those who are yelling to drop Kusal, When he scored 32 in quick time last game no one suggested to drop him.Don't you see something more than his figures suggest? He is the long term futureopening batsman for Sri Lanka. Just give him some time. At least he got starts unlike chandimal. Contributed in good opening partnerships with Dilshan. Pretty soon he'll win you a match single handedly. He just need that assurance of his place. Remember how he scored back to back 50's in T20's. SLC have faith in him. Tharanga is a good batsman.Yes. He did well in the middle order before he was dropped. HE FAILED as an OPENER. And his poor domestic form kept him out of the squad. If he can perform well in SL A tour of Englan, he'll definitely get a chance. And kusal is also in that team. So da better one will grab it. Don't shout without having da simple common scene. Kusal can be trusted. You can never trust Tharanga. His past record proves that.One century in 15 innings wnt win u 15 matches

Posted by   on (July 10, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

Though SL won, it was poor performance by Kulasekara. Luckily SL won the toss. Otherwise the result may in other way. Lot of corrections to be done for the SL tail end batting.

Posted by S305 on (July 10, 2014, 2:35 GMT)

Why is Rangana Herath not in all SL squads, I wonder?

Posted by Senaratne77 on (July 10, 2014, 2:21 GMT)

Manoj Karyawasam: What on earth are you talking about? Tharanga, even after 173 matches, averages only 33 with a strike rate of 73. This isnt exactly spectacular numbers, let alone consistent ones. He's not consistent, has an inherent weakness around the off stump and is a notorious non mover of his feet and hence poor technique. He got his chances, more than his fair share! Move on. This is not about personal likings or dislikes, its about our national side and whats best for it!

Posted by Lion_96 on (July 10, 2014, 2:14 GMT)

Great win by Sri Lanka. I thought they were uninspired in the 1st ODI at the Premadasa Stadium (perhaps still riding on a high from a successful England tour). Here, they batted first posted a good total (probably should have got 300, but some ordinary batting at the end of the innings really restricted the eventual total). How good was Amla tonight? Hes a special player, one of the best in the world, but the other South Africans couldn't come to grip with Asian conditions. Palakelle Intl. Stadium should be renamed after Dilshan. Loves performing here. There were some who predicting 3-0, clearly they havent seen how Sri Lanka have played this year. Series level and the deciders in a couple of days time at Hambantota!

Posted by proteasfire on (July 10, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Inconsistency thy name is South Africa in recent times. Except for Pakistan series in Dubai and India series at home, SA never won consecutive matches for the last two years. There is no excuse for this and this shows team hasnt learnt nuances of ODI cricket still. How long can a team be in learning phase? There s no reason why on earth a player like JP Duminy stays in middle order for so long and never produce one match winning innings when the team really needs it. He is not a part time bowler he is both part time bowler and batsman. Unless SA play aggressively and get consistent there is no way they will get rid of chokers tag in world tournaments. SA of 90s was extremely consistent. Gone are the days of captaincy of Hansie Cronje and Shaun Pollock when team used to white wash opponents. Nowadays winning the series itself has lot of hiccups. Poor performance from South Africa yet again.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (July 10, 2014, 2:00 GMT)

Congratulations Sri Lanka! Wish you will maintain the momentum for the next match and win the cup.

Posted by cjchanaka on (July 10, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

Strong come back by lions,but we still have some concerns.Kule's contribution is highly questionable,he hasn't take a wicket in last 4-5 matches and didn't score runs either.So lakmal or thisara should replace him next match.Kusal should try to stay atleast 15 overs,we can't depend on 3 seniors everyday,youngsters should perform.Anyway GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEXT........

Posted by pandian_ikku on (July 10, 2014, 1:23 GMT)

For next match,

1. Tharanga 2. Dilshan 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5. Thirimanne (Selectors never drop him) 6. Mathews 7. Thisara 8. Sachithra 9. Mendis 10. Rangana 11. Malinga

Posted by Cricketluv on (July 10, 2014, 1:01 GMT)

Sudath Liyanage from Sri Lanka- Everyone chipped in. Dili spearheaded. Niranjan shined. methewss was proven true- yes,same team. Formula of two of three biggies shoul perform to win a match for SL, once again endorsed. Upul not playing predicts all three biggies will be there 4 worldcup. Big question is how Thisara is taken to leven. He MUST play. Dressing Room, think how. Kula to the gelatin, one may suggest. Think of this. Mahela, Dili, Sanga, Thiri, One of them is rested in every match to come, Thisara or Kula will take that spot. The better after next 8 mathes will play the world cup.

Posted by Sinhaya on (July 10, 2014, 0:50 GMT)

I am glad we won to square the series and now the action switches to Hambantota. Well concerns remain high though we won last night.

Firstly, congratulations and well played Amla. SL was poor in the field missing 2 run out chances of Amla as he gave us a scare indeed. Dropped catches too were unacceptable.

Secondly, our tail is a major concern as in both ODIs, last 5 wickets fell for less than 20 runs which is shocking.

Thirdly, too many passengers in our team as high time that we dont proceed with the so called winning combination. We must drop Priyanjan and Kulasekara to make way for Vithanage and Thisara Perera. Kusal Perera must be given one more chance to prove himself.

Fourthly, feel sad for Kallis indeed as I hoped he will score last night.

My team for the final ODI Kusal Perera, Dilshan, Sanga, Thirimanne, Mahela, Vithanage, Mathews, Thisara Perera, Senanayake, Malinga and Mendis.

Posted by wapuser on (July 10, 2014, 0:14 GMT)

Good win to SL, but still some areas of concern. Batting depth is so thin with Ashan Priyanjan as number seven batsman. Chandimal should be there to replace him. With SA seamers tailenders may not able stay five overs. Ashan also not convincing player. Targeting world cup SL need to build up Chandimal. He has some shots selection problem, but that can be rectify with his confidence. Mahela bit rusty with his experiences he will be back runs sure. Good luck both team for deciding match.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 22:57 GMT)

De Villiers need to learn to focus so he is ready to take advantage in the BIG moments. He missed another one in this match. Disappointing.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 20:57 GMT)

I dont know why a player like tharanga is not a regular face in the sri lankan side....he needs to be playing as i do not see this sri lankan team going very far without sangakkara ,mahela and dilshan........only player in the side is matthews that sri lankans can trust on....kushal perera will get a nice partner in tharanga... Matthews,kushal,thirimanne and tharanga should form the top four...

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 19:54 GMT)

Seriously guys does SLC have some vendetta against Upul Tharanga ? Don't get how Kusal's spot is still safe.

Posted by ChandimaEranda on (July 9, 2014, 19:22 GMT)

Mahela,

Please step down. we need to keep you mind as Mahela who we are loving. Not we are used to loved.

Posted by Lassie.Perera on (July 9, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

@ Compton-Effect & nilb, with or without any particular player, just appreciate what Sri Lankans has done in world cricket. You liked it or not, these players are there to play cricket for Sri Lanaka. keep your imaginations to yourself. When the players like Aravinda, Sanath, Murali, vass were playing towards the end of their carriers there were few people like you guys saying same rubbish. You guys better take in to account that, always the end results will be counted. No matter who played in the side.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 18:55 GMT)

Give chandimal chance in next match in place of Mahela... Pallekale should be renamed as Dilakale! well played boys! hoping for another series win

Posted by cricfan100 on (July 9, 2014, 18:42 GMT)

@Manoj_Karyawasam, tharanga has a huge problem out side his off stump against quality swing bowling and entire world knows that. After all he is not a match winner. He is a run accumulator and we have plenty of such batsmen in our team. If kusal perera is not good enough going back to tharanga is not an option. Either we have to try mahela at the top or give chance to another youngster (May be kithruwan, who knows it may work). But seeing tharanga fishing outside off stump for the umpteenth time is not a pleasant sight at all.

Posted by Kinguru007. on (July 9, 2014, 18:16 GMT)

As a Lankan fan I feel sorry for Kallis. I'm sure he will get another game but if he fails to score means his world cup chances are very thin.

Posted by yohandf1984 on (July 9, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

A good win by Sri Lanka . Still looks rusty in fielding which needs to be settled in decider . SL need a series win . This game was not straight forward as margin suggests . Amla is in good form and couple of middle order partnerships could have taken saffers home . Nevertheless congrats to team specially Dilshan who is unstoppable at Pallekele . SL needs to bring few changes . i prefer thisara playing at 7 and lakmal in for Kule.

Posted by VikumHerath on (July 9, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

@nilb: What you are saying is absolutely true. Without Sanga, Mahela & Dil.... SL would become a club side vulnerable to defeat against any side including minnows! Keeping Tharanga away, without giving a single chance to him, prove something beyond doubt!

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

SL must rest kusal and bring thrimanna for opening chandimal should get no 4 spot .

Posted by cric1965 on (July 9, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

Kulasekara is not taking wickets. He should be replace with Suranga Lakmal. Kula will be hammered in Australia for his 120 km speed bowling.

Posted by Andrew-Silva on (July 9, 2014, 17:52 GMT)

@Shanaka Jayawardhane : You may insult a player like Tharanga with all sorts of rubbish man, but you can't hide the unique list of records he has achieved at 28 yrs of age & the invaluable services he had rendered to SL as an Opener, until the day his unstoppable progress was abruptly cut off..! The REWARD he got from SLC for becoming the the 2nd fastest and youngest Sri Lankan cricketer to reach 5000 runs was, indefinite elimination from the squad & central contract, just a few ODIs after reaching that mile stone! How sad ??

Posted by Herath-UK on (July 9, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

Sri Lanka came again from behind to win the match having lost the first & will more likely to win the series. A brilliant bunch.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

Well done lions,good luck guys...

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (July 9, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Great win for SL. Congratulation. please Mahela and Thirimanne keep ur performance continuously . please drop Kusal and Kule for next matches .. give chance to Tharanga and lakamal. Kule and Kusal r out of form. Kule 7 ODI 5 wkts batting- 6 innings 6 runs ( 4 ducks) average 1.00 . He was good in the past. but now give chance to Lakmal who is a wicket taking bowler.My XI for next match Dilshan, Tharanga, Sanga, Thirimanne, Mahela, Mathews, Thisara/Ashan, Senananayaka, Mendis, Malinga, Lakmal

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

Well done lions,good luck guys..???????

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

Its ridiculous that Ashan get the chance over Chandimal..Ashan bats like a slogger and he gives 2,3 chances even to make a 20..CHandimal should bat at 4 or 5 and then Mahela and Mathews at 6 and 7..Kula should be replaced by Lakmal or Eranga..

Posted by nilb on (July 9, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

I consider this a loss when SL needs to rely heavily on Sangakkara, Dilshan and Mahela and the young players are still not performing good enough. Not enough chances are given to young new talent either. Whos going to take the place of Sanga, Dilshan and Mahela when they retire?

Posted by Charith_777 on (July 9, 2014, 17:30 GMT)

Bring back Akila Dananjaya, Jeewan Mendis,Maharoof,Herath, Eranga & Lakmal for World cup..Ashan seems to be very irresponsible..Kule must be handled very carefully as his lack of pace might cost him a lot in Aussie. Team spirit & performance are there. But our lower batting order is the worst.. If the lower order can put up 60-70 runs, then it w ease the pressure of top & middle order batsmen

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:29 GMT)

It is the start given by Dilshan and the silky innings of 48 by Majestic Mahela and the responsible contributions from Thri, and captain ensured a very competitive total.Malinga's 2 at the SA innings and the spinners high class performance brought SL back in the series.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

we need Hearath in the team

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

hey you guys foget abt Hasim Amla..back to back century even in practice match. Deviliers needs to wake up in next match.He and amala win the match single handly for SA

Posted by bablankalhan55_youtube on (July 9, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

Malinga was brilliant..Priyanjan should be persisted with but the real matchwinner was Dilshan..what amazing day for him..made my day..Dilshan fan from Mumbai,India

Posted by YsaKaru on (July 9, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

well done boys...much more like our lions...thisara must be in the next match..anyway GOOD LUCK LIONS...

Posted by Andrew-Silva on (July 9, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

In this couple of ODIs, SA Opener Amla seems to have given a good lesson to SLC Decision Makers about the value of having a solid Opener in the side!

Winning some matches despite constant failures at the top by that "Makeshift" Opener Kusal Perera, cannot mask the absolute need of stability at the top! How many times Sanga or Dil had to carry that extra burden.? Kusal had been tried-out continuously for more than 1 year now, with 33 ODIs with awful performances and stats! We have to rectify this madness immediately to turn all the losing matches to possible victories! We need the BEST XI available to do that, with a formidable Specialists Opener to do the job!

Can anyone tell me a single reason for not considering 29y Upul Tharanga for a single ODI with such a solid batting record 5000+ runs 34.2 Av & world records for long partnerships etc? First of all who would drop such a player from a national squad for so long despite maintaining a solid form at domestic cricket tournaments?

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

Well done Sri Lanka, Dilshan made the break through in SA innings and smash 88 to get SL to a competitive score, Slinga Malinga had found his accuracy and length which end up with 24 for 4...those yokers were amazing.....and Amla showed his consistency yet again.... Mahela was failing again and again.yet I think he preserve his best for the best(next match)...... man injured LIONZ are more dangerous in their den....

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

Well done Dilshan. you have saved somany matches for Sri Lanka, Your average is better than Mahela, You have scored ODI centuries than Sanga and Mahela, You have Won many Man of the Match awards than Sanga and Mahela,but you are not highlighted,that's sad...you should play another many years for Sri Lanka...Mahela is totaly inconsistent batsman but highly OVERATEd..Mahela looks like playing to save his place not the GAME.....

Posted by SILVERSANGA on (July 9, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

That's exactly what I thought. SL strikes back with authority in a must win game! And where are all those people who predicted a South African whitewash? SA had a horrible horrible record in SL (just 2 ODI wins and 13 losses) up until the last game but when they won it they called for a whitewash! Now SL too has a a horrible record in SA but imagine if SL wins the first match of an ODI series in SA will those people call for a whitewash straightaway? No they'll call it a fluke! This shows the difference between SL and SA. SL is underrated and SA is overrated. SL has always won matches, shocked all the critics while SA has disappointed their followers most of the times.

Best of luck for Lions and I'm sure they will snatch the series win in the next game. SA lost their momentum while Lankans gained it back. But oh wait they haven't lost it at all. They could have won the first match had it not for bad light and rain alerts which forced them to change their game and play some rash shots

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

Why do people talk about Upul Tharanga? He is good for middle order, only if he can rotate strike, we saw his very poor technique as a opener. not a good fielder either.

Posted by Felix1025 on (July 9, 2014, 16:43 GMT)

We need to try Shaminda Eranga, Lakmal, Pradeep and even Prasad instead of Kule. Kule was good but will not be idear for next World Cup. Best bets are Eranga and Lakmal with Malinga. But need to have Thisara, Pradeep and Prasad in the pool. Try Eranga next match pls.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 16:43 GMT)

Good Luck guys!!!

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Proteas are a good team that has most of the places ticked already, save for the experimentation with Kallis. Sri Lanka needs to keep the intensity up from s defining tour of England. ODI world cup beckons and we need to tighten up loose ends and make the best of the upcoming fixtures

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

Well done Lions!! Spinners doing the job but lets not forget Malinga had a fantastic match for us!! Dilshan is the Lord of Pallekelle

Posted by KingPower on (July 9, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

This game has clearly established Dilshan as one of the world's most astounding all rounders AND established Angelo Mathews as perhaps Sri Lanka's most astute Captain EVER!

Posted by rajcan on (July 9, 2014, 16:19 GMT)

It is amazing, SL have been winning ODI series without much from Mahela's bat and one of the opener's contribution, especially Kushal.

Team innings masks individual failures, and Kushal has free ride.

If England is keep winning, no one will criticize Cook's batting.Cook is in a wrong end, Kushal is in a good end.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 16:08 GMT)

sl should replace priyanjan & kulasekara with eranga/lakmal & kithruwan/thisara and also change the places of mahela & kusal

Posted by rajcan on (July 9, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

Mahela's rusty ODI batting continues against quality bowling. Time to replace him with another good young player. SL selectors has to have some guts to drop seniors if they don't perform, often they don't show that guts.

Posted by cric1965 on (July 9, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

Mahela should bat at No 5 because middle order is inexperienced. Kusal perera has scored 533 runs in last 24 odi matches at average of 22.2. He has to be dropped if he continue his poor form. Upul Tharanga should give a chance.

Posted by rajcan on (July 9, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

Mathews and SL selectors choice of persisting with Kushal Perera and not trying Upul Tharanga resulting in more damages to the team.

I was surprised reading Mathew's interview yesterday on Cricinfo, he said Kushal is performing well, on what basis?

When Kushal cannot bat more than 6 overs, I mean not able to face more than 30 balls, he is adding unnecessary pressure on Dilshan and Sanagakara.

Sangakara has been playing opener role for long time because one of the opener is continuously falling so quickly, which affects Sangakara's natural batting, he has to force himself to play opener role.

I dont understand if politics or some influence making Kushal is a first choice despite continuous failure. He has never proved that he can survive against moving, bouncing, swinging balls.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (July 9, 2014, 15:39 GMT)

Another classic choke from my team. JP Duminy always buckles under pressure. These IPL glamour boys like Miller need to be dropped, he NEVER performs for South AFrica and his record reflects that.

Time to get domestic performers a chance like Rillee Rossouw.

Posted by Stat1977 on (July 9, 2014, 14:51 GMT)

This will be embarrassing series defeat for SL

Posted by Stat1977 on (July 9, 2014, 14:49 GMT)

Pathetic display from SL middle order and tail..

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

i knw sri lankans are facing a problem but i dnt think dey wil,lose dia match as dey are doin well to keep south africans frm attacking

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

gsingh7 you are talking about india being a top odi side. What are their results since December last year? when they toured SA, new Zealand and in asia cup? Give credit to other teams as well.

Posted by Samuel-Rathnasiri on (July 9, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

The funniest thing is, everyone who screams to kick-out Thiri & Chandi, Mahela & the rest are BLIND to the ETERNAL FAILURE of Kusal Janith under slightest seamy condition! What's the point saying, that he has been given a "License to SLOG", when he can't survive TWO OVERS in EVERY inning that he played in such conditions.. ???

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (July 9, 2014, 13:03 GMT)

SA have done well to pin Sri Lanka back but 266 is a very good total and apparently the highest run chase on this ground is 236 !!!

Will be an interesting 2nd half.

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (July 9, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

what is Kulasekara doing in this ODI side??? last 7 ODI only 6 wkts.. batting 6 innings-6 runs( 4 ducks) - avera 1.00..... hope today at least he will take few wkts. otherwise ple selectors drop him and replace him with eaither Lakmal or Thisara

Posted by Samuel-Rathnasiri on (July 9, 2014, 12:49 GMT)

Conditions conducive to a little bit of seam & some bounce.... Kusal Perera failed again facing under 10 balls for the TWENTY FIRST time in thirty two innings! He managed just 7 including a free-hit boundary thanks to a a no-ball !

Thirimanne got his preferred position to bat and looks like he has regained some of his confidence back from the lovely drives he played.

Posted by Andrew-Silva on (July 9, 2014, 12:31 GMT)

OBVIOUSLY, Long partnerships are needed @ the top! The WORLD RECORD holder (Upul Tharanga) for the highest number of 200-plus partnerships in ODIs, has been forced to become just a spectator in SL for the past 12 months! This is going on, despite maintaining a spectacular form in domestic cricket.!

Isn't he topped the batting performances in domestic cricket in Recently concluded Super 4's Twenty20 Tournament ? Scoring 157 Runs from just 3 innings S/R of 155.44 with 2 x 50s Av 52.3 & scored Two Centuries vs England Lions in the only opportunity he got since he was dropped last year! Also in premiere division cricket, he had maintained more than 50 Average in the last 10 matches!

Posted by gsingh7 on (July 9, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

Sa are ruthless side when winning.although sa are not a top odi side like india or australia but they are good enough for sl.i guess sl are still in england after 1 series win in decades.sa gonna win 3-0 if sl does not play competitive cricket and soon.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 12:19 GMT)

It's 3-0 to SA easy, SL becomes mediocre at home against top quality bowling attack and batting line up..For eg. India beats SL in SL all the time..

Posted by John_Geo on (July 9, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

This SA squad is too good for Sri Lanka. They are well balanced and versatile. Unless a miraculous effort by someone from SL, there is no way SL is going to avoid a 3-0 bashing with such a feeble middle order. SL remember the mistakes; over-confidence and under-estimating the opposition - same lesson Eng learned at the hands of SL not too long ago.

Posted by Jeewaka9999 on (July 9, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

It is not only Thirimanne, Mahela, and Ashan but also Kule should perform in this match. Kule is out of form . Last 6 ODI 5 Wkts only. He should take few early wickets to keep his place for next match.

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Tour Results
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Colombo (SSC) - Jul 24-28, 2014
Match drawn
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Galle - Jul 16-20, 2014
South Africa won by 153 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Hambantota - Jul 12, 2014
South Africa won by 82 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Pallekele - Jul 9, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 87 runs
Sri Lanka v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Jul 6, 2014
South Africa won by 75 runs
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