Sri Lanka teach Proteas a les­son

South Africa were poor all day as they took a pound­ing from Mathews’ side

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - STU­ART HESS

Sri Lanka 299/7 South Africa 121 all out Sri Lanka win by 178 runs; South Africa won the se­ries 3-2

SOUTH Africa would rather this fi­nal One-Day In­ter­na­tional be ex­punged from the record books such was the calami­tous na­ture of their play at the Pre­madasa Sta­dium yes­ter­day. Start­ing with the team se­lec­tion, which was then com­pounded by poor ex­e­cu­tion of the ball and con­cluded with an­other dizzy­ing col­lapse against spin, the Proteas re­lived so much about what had been bad about this tour to Sri Lanka.

The se­ries was al­ready won, so this loss won’t hurt as much, but it was such a bad dis­play that it must be hoped it doesn’t linger too long with any of the play­ers.

On a slow paced sur­face, the South African seam bowlers got the im­ple­men­ta­tion of their plans badly wrong af­ter An­gelo Mathews chose to bat when win­ning the toss.

Em­ploy­ing a ‘bouncer’ strat­egy is one thing, but it re­ally is a plan that is best utilised when the bouncer is used as a ‘set up’ ball. The South Africans didn’t do that and to make mat­ters worse their bounc­ers were so poorly di­rected that it al­lowed the Sri Lankans enough room to free their arms, pep­per­ing the point area and the square leg and mid­wicket re­gion with more than half the bound­aries in their in­nings.

The Proteas’ ill-dis­ci­pline was fur­ther il­lus­trated by the con­ces­sion of 25 ex­tras in­clud­ing seven wides and three no balls.

It was a bad bowl­ing per­for­mance from ev­ery­one with the ex­cep­tion of left-arm spin­ner Ke­shav Ma­haraj. He utilised the con­di­tions ef­fec­tively, mix­ing pace and spin while main­tain­ing ex­cel­lent lines and lengths in a 10 over spell that had him bowl just one bad ball – which was smashed for six – and con­ced­ing 32 runs while pick­ing up one wicket.

Mathews top scored for the hosts, with an un­beaten 97 (97b, 11x4, 1x6) tak­ing ad­van­tage of the gifts served up by the South Africans, while mar­shalling the in­nings through the pres­sure that Ma­haraj had briefly helped to cre­ate.

The next best score was Niroshan Dick­wella’s 43 (65b, 5x4), while Kusal Mendis (38) and Dhanan­jaya de Silva (30) weighed in with some use­ful con­tri­bu­tions.

South Africa found no mo­men­tum in pur­suit of their tar­get, los­ing Hashim Amla to a ball from Su­ranga Lak­mal that hit the top of off-stump. Amla should prob­a­bly have been given a break from this match hav­ing played all the games on tour so far, but in the one change to the bat­ting unit, the se­lec­tors chose to ‘rest’ David Miller to ac­com­mo­date Ai­den Markram, a bizarre call.

Markram could have opened along with Quin­ton de Kock, to as­sess that com­bi­na­tion, while re­tain­ing Miller’s ex­plo­sive­ness in the mid­dle.

As it turned out no-one had an an­swer for Ak­ila Danan­jaya’s bag of tricks; Markram who struck five bril­liant bound­aries against the pace of Lak­mal, fell to the third ball he faced from the leg-spin­ner, Reeza Hen­dricks was beaten by a beau­ti­ful goo­gly, as was Hein­rich Klaasen and later De Kock too.

South Africa’s stand-in cap­tain had stood out amidst the car­nage by mak­ing a fine 54 (57b, 7x4, 1x6) but got no sup­port from any­one else.

Danan­jaya pro­duced ca­reer-best fig­ures of 6/29 in nine overs as South Africa crum­bled in less than half the al­lot­ted overs. SQUASHED IN: Egypt’s Mo­hamed ElSherbini, in or­ange on the right, won the men’s Growth­point SA Open ti­tle, while coun­try­woman Farida Mo­hamed, in or­ange on the left, won the women’s ti­tle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.