Another day, another match, the first group B match of the tournament, with Sri Lanka facing the No.1 team in ODIs South Africa. At the toss Sri Lanka won and elected to bowl first. Opening South Africa’s batting were the pair of Hashim Alma and Quinton de Kock. They will start of their innings nicely getting to 44 runs within the first 13 overs of the match. However, Sri Lanka will strike, Pradeep will claim the wicket of de Kock who score 23 runs inclusive of 2 4s. In came in Faf du Plessis and with the combination of Amla they bloomed the South African innings nicely.
This pair will have a partnership of 145 runs. They both took their time at the crease getting singles, doubles and occasionally some boundaries. These two showed great control at the crease and played some quality cricket together. There was no stopping these two, until du Plessis carelessly chipped one to Chandimal of the bowling of Pradeep, he will go for a well played 75 inclusive of 6 4s. Success will continue for Sri Lanka as they got the wickets de Villers who went cheaply for 4 and then the wicket of Miller who went for 18 runs, South Africa 226-4.
Hashim Alma will continue on to get yet another ODI hundred, which he deserved. To me he is one of the most consistent player n all forms of the game. He truly is a cricketing gem in my eye. Unfortunately, he was ran out for 103 (5 4s, 2 6s) by Mendis, ending his innings, well played to him. At this point I wasn’t sure if South Africa will get to 300 runs, batting at 232-5 in the 43rd over.
South Africa will lose their final wicket in the 48th over where Chris Morris was brilliantly run out by Tharanga, they ended on 299-6 at the ended of the 50 over, setting Sri Lanka to get 300 runs.
Moving on to Sri Lanka’s inning, opening batting pair Tharanga and Dickwella. Early in the chase Kagiso Rabada missed a caught and bowl chance, dropping Tharanga on 2 runs which will later be costly. Success came for the South Africans in the 9th over when Dickwella skied one down to 3rd man Wayne Parnell where he was caught, he made a well played 41 runs. At the end of the first powerplay Sri Lanka were way ahead of the required run rate, scoring 55 more runs compared to South Africa at this particular time of the game. At this stage Sri Lanka was just cruising.
The Sri Lankans batting lineup suddenly began collapsing, with the intervention of Iman Tahir to the bowling. He will be South Africa’s major wicket taker claiming four of the Sri Lankan wickets. First there will be the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal who was run-out, three balls later same over Tahir trapped Chamara Kapugedara for lbw. The ship continued sinking for the Sri Lankans when their top scorer Tharanga (57 runs) skied one into the deep getting into the safe hands of David Miller. Tahir ened the Sri Lankans by getting the final wicket of Nuwan Pradeep in the 42nd over, Sri Lanka all out for 203. South Africa won by some 96 runs.
Group B action continues tomorrow with match 4 where India (my favourite to win) will face Pakistan.