Sri Lanka vs South Africa
1st ODI (D/N), Colombo (RPS), Sep 2 2021
Sri Lanka 300/9
South Africa 286/6
Sri Lanka won by 14 runs
I have to confess that there were a few names in the Sri Lanka team that I have never heard of. Had it been five years ago, I would have said that the Sri Lanka team would never be able to cope with what the Proteas have to offer, but sadly that is no longer the case. Sri Lanka managed to post a very good total on a slow pitch in very hot and humid conditions. Avishka Fernando scored 118 off only 115 balls and he was supported well by De Silva and Asalanka. Even though the Protea spinners were very economical, they didn't manage to stop partnerships from building. The pace men weren't creative enough and they went for runs on the slow Colombo pitch.
The South African batsmen started well and they seemed to be in control of the game until Bavuma had to go off injured as his thumb got in the way of a throw that was aimed at the stumps. Aiden Markram was scoring at more than a run a ball when he was joined by van der Dussen. Markram was caught on the boundary for 96 and one could sense that the advantage was slipping. I get the feeling that the Protea's long tail weighs heavily on the minds of the specialist batsmen. It is a huge part of the modern game, but the risky sweep shots still make me cringe. Verreynne and van der Dussen both lost their wickets while playing sweep shots. It was a valiant effort but the cramped up, sweat drenched Protea batsmen just ran out of steam.