......that great run chase at Kimberley
KIMBERLEY, South Africa, Jan 21 (AFP) - Sri Lanka celebrated a rare
success Friday on a tour to South Africa with a five-wicket victory in
the fourth one-day international.
Big knocks from captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (87), man-of-the-match
Thisara Perera (69) and Dinesh Chandimal (59) lifted the visitors to
304-5 after the home side reached 299-7 with skipper AB de Villiers (96)
to the fore.
After keeping close to the six-run-an-over target at the De Beers
Diamond Oval for much of the innings, the Sri Lankan batsman hit out
against a South African attack sorely missing rested fast bowler Dale
Unfortunately, the win came too late for the tourists to affect the
five-game series with the Proteas taking a winning 3-0 lead three days
ago thanks to a four-run win in a rain-hit Bloemfontein contest.
But the outcome in this northern Cape city did emphasise the steady
improvement of Sri Lanka after a nightmare opening match in which they
were bowled for 43 to suffer a humiliating 258-run loss.
“This was a fantastic effort as we were hoping to restrict South
Africa to 250 or 260 runs,” said Dilshan, “and on a personal note it was
nice getting a big score again.”
Dilshan averaged a run a ball in a 112-minute stand that included
nine fours and two sixes while Perera was even quicker, taking just 44
balls with three fours and five sixes in his tally.
Chandimal may have struck only one six and one four and taken longer
to compile his runs, but he was a steadying mid-innings influence as
South Africa desperately sought wickets.Dilshan believes his side can
win again Sunday at the Wanderers in Johannesburg amid Sri Lankan
government calls for a probe into a “crisis situation” after series
losses to England, Australia and Pakistan as well.
It has been a spectacular fall from grace for a team that finished
runners-up to India last April in the World Cup and some players have
complained of unpaid salaries while the cricket board wrestles with a
69-million-dollar debt. After three consecutive wins since replacing
Graeme Smith as one-day captain, De Villiers had his first taste of
defeat and offered no excuses, only praise for the “gutsy” Sri Lankans,
The South Africa batsman-cum-wicketkeeper will take solace from his
fine innings that was laced with eight fours and three sixes and ended
when he became one of two Perera victims as the ball crashed into middle
stump. Another positive for the Proteas was a return to form by Smith
(68), whose innings of six, 28 and two in the other matches had
triggered a media and public outcry that forced De Villiers to come out
in support of the opening bat. Smith struck seven fours and a six before
surrendering his wicket cheaply with Dilshan taking the catch off a
leg-side shot after a Lasith Malinga delivery that was short of a