Proteas in crushing ODI win over Sri Lanka

7 July 2014

South Africa took a 1-0 lead over Sri Lanka in their three-match one-day international series after an impressive 75-run victory in Colombo on Sunday.

‘It’s very satisfying’

“It’s very satisfying,” captain AB de Villiers said of the win after the match. “We had a tough tour here the last time we came. Even though we lost 4-1, I still felt like we weren’t that far off the mark, although the scorecard doesn’t agree with my comments.

“The belief and the way we have learned from the last time gives me a lot of satisfaction. We aren’t going to get complacent going into the next game, we know that we are going to have to work hard and the work starts all over in Kandy.”

Man of the match

Hashim Amla followed up his century in a win over A Sri Lanka Board President’s XI in the Proteas’ first outing of their tour with another century in the big win on Sunday. He was named man of the match for his 109 off 130 balls, which helped to propel South Africa to a strong 304 for 5 in their 50 overs.

“I think he prepared really well coming into the series,” De Villiers said. “He played at Surrey for a month, got his technique in order, and did really well there. He has hit the ground running here and his hard work has paid off.

“It’s amazing to bat with him, we enjoy each other’s company out there, like we did today. Hopefully there will be more of those partnerships to come.”

Big stand

Amla and De Villiers shared a stand of 151 for the third wicket, with De Villiers striking 75 off only 70 deliveries to set up the innings.

David Miller, with an undefeated 36 off 21 balls, and Ryan McLaren, with 22 off 18, then brought it to a hard-hitting close.

While Ajantha Mendis led the Sri Lankan bowling attack with three wickets, he went for 61 runs in his 10 overs, and he received little backing up for the rest of the home team’s bowlers.

Good start

Chasing over six runs per over for victory, Sri Lanka started well and reached 50 before losing Kusal Perera for 34 off 33 balls at the end of the eighth over.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and star batsman Kumar Sangakkara then advanced the total to 98 before Dilshan departed for 40 from 46 deliveries with the total on 98 in the 17th over.

With Sangakkara at the wicket, however, Sri Lanka were always in with a chance of victory. Ryan McLaren made the big breakthrough in the 38th over, however, first bowling Lahiru Thirimanne for 15 and then having Sangakkara caught by Faf du Plessis for 88 off 84 balls.

Those two wickets reduced the home team to 217 for 7 and they quickly slipped to 229 all out as South Africa claimed an emphatic victory.

Wicket-takers

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir claimed 3 for 50 in seven overs, McLaren finished with 2 for 33 in six, Dale Steyn picked up 2 for 38 in 7.3, and Morne Morkel finished with 2 for 39 in seven as the Sri Lankans lasted only 40.3 overs.

“Imran Tahir pulled it back really nicely after his opening two-over spell, and JP (Duminy – 0 for 24 in five overs) as well,” he said. “All four seam bowlers also bowled really well together.

“I think it was a good team performance, it’s not about the seamers outplaying the spinners or vice-versa. It was a good wicket and those that got wickets did a good job.”