Sri Lanka triumphs in rain-affected match, takes 2-0 lead

Needing 176 from 29 overs, South Africa stutters to 104 for 5 in 21 overs, losing by 17 runs on D/L method.

Rangana Herath’s two crucial wickets helped Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 17 runs in a rain-affected One-Day International, and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, in Colombo on Tuesday (July 23).

Set a revised target of 176 from 29 overs, South Africa lost five wickets to make 104 runs in 21 overs when a heavy downpour at the R Premadasa Stadium forced the match to be called off. With the par score at that stage being 121 for 5, South Africa were 17 runs short as they suffered their second defeat in the series following the 180-run loss in the first match on July 20.

The left-arm spin of Herath first trapped Alviro Petersen, the South Africa opener, leg-before for 24 before getting Faf du Plessis caught behind to restrict South Africa to 69 for 5 by the 14th over. David Miller (22 not out) and Ryan McLaren (14 not out) put on 35 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket before rain played spoilsport.

South Africa was dealt another blow as Hashim Amla injured his left knee while fielding and was rushed to hospital for precautionary scans. Amla had been sidelined for the first match due to a back problem.

Earlier, pace bowler Morne Morkel claimed 3 for 34 as Sri Lanka was restricted to 223 for 9 in 49.2 overs after it won the toss and elected to bat. Both stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the opener, scored 43 runs before heavy rain ended the innings with four deliveries still to be bowled.

South Africa regrouped after the heavy defeat in the first match to keep Sri Lankan batsmen in check on the slow wicket. Upul Tharanga was out in the fourth over before a second-wicket stand of 59 between Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara helped Sri Lanka recover to 66 for 1 in the 18th over. Sangakkara, who had smashed his highest one-day score of 169 in the previous game, hit six boundaries in his 37 before he mistimed a drive off Aaron Phangiso, the left-arm spinner, and was caught in the covers.

South Africa restricted Sri Lanka to 123 for 4 in 30 overs as Mahela Jayawardene was bowled by Robin Peterson for 17 and Dilshan was caught behind off Morkel soon after. Chandimal, leading Sri Lanka in place of the banned Angelo Mathews, boosted the total with four boundaries in his 51-ball innings.

(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)