After losing 2-0 in the Test series, South Africa bounced back with an emphatic 5 wicket win in the 1st One Day International played at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on July 29.
Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, and JP Duminy contributed and it was an all-round effort by the men in green.
The crucial toss
Sri Lanka, for the third time in the series, got lucky with the toss and rightly decided to bat first, notwithstanding the lush green outfield in Dambulla. Unlike in the tests, the Proteas fast bowlers were all over the Sri Lankan batsman and in just the 7th over, the lions were 5 down for just 36.
The top order collapse
Niroshan Dickwella was promoted to open the innings but he only managed to survive 2 deliveries. Both Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada swept through the Sri Lankan top order and a bit of extra bounce supported their cause.
The Perera show
Thisara Perera survived a close call in the very first ball and went on to make 49 with Kusal Janith Perera, who made 81 in just 72 for the home team.
At one stage, it looked like they were taking Sri Lanka to a first innings total of over 280 but a couple of loose shots had them back in the dressing room. Sri Lanka lost all 10 wickets for 193 in just the 35th over of the innings.
The Proteas were off to a blistering start but Akila Dhananjaya somehow pulled it back for Sri Lanka with 2 wickets in consecutive deliveries. Hashim Amla was bowled by a wrong un’. Markram misread a delivery that came in and was given out leg before wicket.
South Africa, cautious and aggressive
Captain Faf Du Plessis and Quinton De Kock, cautious and aggressive, steered South Africa past the 100 run mark in the 17th over. They were dismissed in their forties but JP Duminy with an unbeaten 53 in just 32 balls took the visitors to a 5 wicket win with 19 overs remaining.
Tabraiz Shamsi was adjudged player of the match for his outstanding efforts with the ball.
“Disappointed, wasn’t the best day but we have four more games to bounce back. The way Kusal and Thisara fought back was great. 250 plus would’ve helped us give a good fight, they bowled and batted well. They’ve always had a very good bowling line-up, have been a threat wherever they’ve played. We need to bat better with the new ball. Bowling us out in 34 overs was disappointing, we may have got to 230-240 had we batted through,” said Angelo Mathews at the post-match presentation.
The 2nd ODI will be played at the same venue on Wednesday, the 1st of August under lights.
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