By: Nalin Jayetileke
At R Premadasa Stadium here in Sri Lanka yesterday (4th Sep 2021) South Africa 283 for 6 (Malan 121, Karunaratne 2-24) beat Sri Lanka 197 (Asalanka 77, Shamsi 5-49) by 67 runs (DLS method)
Rain interrupted Sri Lanka’s chase of 283. Sri Lankens were 114 for 4 at the 25th over mark and a approx 30 Minutes stop of play saw the target revised to 265 from 41 overs and as a result, Sri Lanka needed 171 runs off 22 overs at a rate of 7.77. It was Shami who came and did the damage for the Sri Lankans when he went on to take 4 crucial Sri Lankan wickets thereby got Sri Lanka on the back seat loosing out 6 wickets in the process for a score of 72, to be bowled out for 197. For Sri Lanka, Charith Asalank’s 77 and Chamikara Karunaratne’s 33 off 23 balls and 2 wickets for 24 runs are some positives for Sri Lanka as Chamikara is slowly but surely shaping up to be a good fighting allrounder for Sri Lanka.
Janneman Malan scored his third ODI century, 121 with nine fours and one six in the 135 balls he faced and played the anchor for the South Africans to level the series 1-1. the Score of 283 what was seen as he 3rd highest score to be chased by the Sri Lankans at the Premadas. Janneman was ably supported with a half century (51 off 54 balls) by the one down bat Hendricks, who rotated the strike to rattle the Sri Lankans together with Malan.
Kagiso Rabada bowled really well to dismiss the inform batsman Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa between 4 deliveries whilst Wiaan Mulder got rid of Minod Bhanuka to have Sri Lanka way behind at just 19 runs for 3 wickets. Charith Asakanka played a good innings for Sri Lanka continuing his form from the previous match where he made 72 off 62 balls, with a career best of 77 runs off 69 balls. With Tabraiz Shamsi taking 5 wickets for 49 runs being a career best for him, Sri Lanka never got into the driving seat to reach any where close to the required run rate. Shamsi became the 5th spin bowler for South Africa to take 5 wickets in an ODI.
Sri Lanka’s plans did not seem to work as we saw Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva, who all had overs in hand and was seen as more economical who was not used but the Skipper seems to have had confidence on his main bowlers in Dusmantha Chameera, Akila Danajaya, and Vanidu Hasaranga who could not keep up to the expectants but conceded over 7 runs per over, which had he South Africans off the grip and make a 286. However, Dushmantha Chameera ended up with figures of 2 for 52 off 7 overs.
With this win, South Africa gained 10 points in the World Cup Super League table to reach the eighth spot, and enter the automatic qualification zone whilst Sri Lanka at the 9th slot, battling to get their with one more match at hand.