Sri Lanka, only have themselves to blame after making a mess on the field in the 2nd One Day International against South Africa at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium last evening. Following the previous 5-wicket loss, South Africa won the 2nd ODI by 4 wickets and went two-up in the five-match series.
Quinton De Kock made it look ever so easy in the middle, putting pressure on Sri Lanka’s best bowler Akila Dhananjaya early in the innings. A couple of late wickets troubled South Africa but for the hosts, it was a bit too late.
Mathews and Dickwella top scores, Sri Lanka falls short
Angelo Mathews won the toss and decided to bat first but two quick wickets had the hosts in trouble in the 2nd over. Niroshan Dickwella made a useful fifty and Angelo Mathews cautiously restored the innings, taking the score to 244 in 50 overs. Dickwella made 69, he was hit on the rib and was forced to stay off the field.
Angelo Mathews made an unbeaten 79 in 111 with 6 fours under his name. Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo picked 3 wickets a piece for the visitors.
The home side was at least 20 runs short at the end of the innings. Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock went hard at the Sri Lankan quicks after a couple of easy catches were dropped. Both Amla and De Kock with lifelines made 91 for the 1st wicket.
Dhananjaya had Markram back in the dugout for 3 but Du Plessis and Duminy took the game away from Sri Lanka.
Both batsmen were dismissed, but the wickets came a tad too late for the men in blue. South Africa got the target with 4 wickets and over 7 overs remaining.
Below Par and sloppy from Sri Lanka
Overall, it was a below-par performance from Sri Lanka with the bat and especially on the field. “We gave away too many wickets up front [56/3], and then we lost wickets at crucial times too, so we never got going. We didn’t hold on to catches as well, and while defending low scores, you need to hold on to every chance. We had a terrible day on the field. Neither did the bowlers bowl well. We were a bunch of school kids when it came to today’s fielding,” said skipper Angelo Mathews.
Chances are, Dickwella’s injury might prompt a Karunaratne return to the ODI squad for Saturday’s match. If so, Tharanga will likely be accompanied by Dimuth as his opening partner.
Sri Lanka will take on South Africa in the 3rd One Day International on August 5 at the Pallekale International Stadium in Kandy. Sri Lanka with not a lot of luck in Pallekale will need to try to somehow win the game and stay alive in the series.
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