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Leg-spin woes trouble Sri Lanka



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Rex Clementine


in Johannesburg


You expected seamers to trouble Sri Lanka but unexpectedly it was the leg-spin of Imran Tahir proved to be their undoing as they suffered an eight wicket defeat in the opening ODI of the five match series here in Johannesburg yesterday.


Sri Lanka have had trouble with Tahir earlier to and yesterday the Pakistani born spinner, who will turn 40 this month, were all over the tourist.


After the openers had departed cheaply, Kusal Janith Perera and Oshada Fernando had added 76 runs for the third wicket before Tahir found the breakthrough in his first over.


Perera, hero of the Durban Test, didn’t pick Tahir’s googly and was caught behind.


Kusal Mendis was given out leg before wicket in Tahir’s next over but the batsman successfully reviewed the decision. Desperate to get off the strike to the leg-spinner, Mendis attempted a single to short mid-wicket the next ball. South Africa had positioned one of their best fielders in David Miller there. Fernando was not interested in the run and started off late while Miller, still airborne, threw the ball to the striker’s end to find Fernando just short.


The debutant missed a well deserved half-century by a single run. He looked solid though not afraid to play his shots. His run a ball 49 included five fours and two sixes. The sixes were off Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, both straight hits over the ropes with exquisite timing.


Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva then added 94 runs for the fifth wicket and it looked as if Sri Lanka were set to post 300 plus. Tahir returned for his second spell with three overs left and again changed the equation of the game accounting for both batsmen.


Dhananjaya was stumped in Tahir’s first over of the second spell while Mendis trying to loft one over the cover fielder got his timing wrong and was caught by Rassie van der Dussen. He made 60.


It was all over for Sri Lanka as they lost the last six wickets for just 36 runs.


Thisara Perera of whom much was expected after his recent big hitting in New Zealand was surprised by the bounce Rabada purchased and offered a simple catch to backward of point.


On a fine batting deck, the tourists needed a 300 plus total to test South Africa, but after being bowled out for 231 with three overs to spare, the bowlers found it hard to defend the total.


South Africa got home with 11.1 overs to spare as Francois Du Plessis smashed an unbeaten hundred. The captain added 136 runs for the second wicket with Quinton De Kock (81) to lay the foundation for the innings.


Sri Lanka did have a chance to dismiss Du Plessis when he was on 28 but Sandakan missed a sitter off the bowling of Thisara. Sandakan’s left-arm wrist spin hardly bothered the Proteas and he seems to have now made it easier for the selectors to have a look at other spinning options. His wicket less ten overs cost Sri Lanka 56 runs.



Scoreboard



Sri Lanka


N. Dickwella c and b Ngidi                 8


U. Tharanga b Ngidi                        9


K. Perera c De Kock b Imran Tahir         33


O. Fernando run out (Miller)              49


K. Mendis c Van der Dussen b Imran Tahir 60


D. de Silva st De Kock b Imran Tahir      39


T. Perera c Miller b Rabada                7


A. Dananjaya run out (Van der Dussen)      0


L. Malinga c Imran Tahir b Ngidi          15


L. Sandakan c De Kock b Nortje            3


V. Fernando not out                        1


Extras (w7)                                7


Total (47 overs)                         231


Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Dickwella), 2-23 (Tharanga), 3-99 (K. Perera), 4-101 (O. Fernando), 5-195 (De Silva), 6-210 (Mendis), 7-211 (Dananjaya), 8-213 (T. Perera), 9-219 (Sandakan)


Bowling: Rabada 9-0-48-1 (2w), Ngidi 10-0-60-3 (1w), Nortje 7-1-33-1, Pretorius 7-0-44-0, Imran Tahir 10-1-26-3, Mulder 4-0-20-0


South Africa


Q. de Kock lbw b Dananjaya                81


R. Hendricks c Dickwella b V. Fernando     1


F. du Plessis not out                    112


H. van der Dussen not out                 32


Extras (lb1, w5)                           6


Total (2 wkts, 38.5 overs)               232


Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Hendricks), 2-150 (De Kock)


Bowling: Malinga 7-0-37-0 (1w), V. Fernando 5-0-43-1 (1w), Dananjaya 10-0-52-1, T. Perera 3-0-22-0, De Silva 4-0-21-0, Sandakan 9.5-0-56-0 (2w)


Did not bat: D. Miller, W. Mulder, D. Pretorius, K. Rabada, A. Nortje, Imran Tahir, L. Ngidi


Result: South Africa won by eight wickets


Series: South Africa lead the five-match series 1-0


Toss: South Africa


Umpires: Bongani Jele (RSA), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)


TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)


Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIN)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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