Avishka Fernando 118, Charith Asalanka 72 set South Africa 301 to win


Rabada and Maharaj select up two wickets every, however Sri Lanka bat themselves into place of energy

Innings Sri Lanka 300 for 9 (Avishka 118, Asalanka 72, Maharaj 2-30, Rabada 2-66) vs South Africa

Avishka Fernando’s 3rd ODI century led the best way for Sri Lanka as they reached their very best general within the layout this yr and set South Africa a frightening goal of 301 of their sequence opener. On a gradual floor with first rate soar and quite a lot of flip, Fernando and Charith Asalanka, taking part in in his 6th ODI, shared in a 97-run fourth-wicket stand, scoring at a fee of 8.19 an over, to construct on a cast get started and set Sri Lanka up for a powerful end.
Fernando was the 6th Sri Lankan to attain an ODI century towards South Africa after Marvan Atapattu, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (all two times), Asela Gunaratne and Upul Tharanga. He used to be at ease at the again foot towards the South African seamers, who insisted on protecting their lengths again, took at the opposition’s attacking spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, and paced his innings neatly. His first fifty took 75 balls and the following fifty simply 31. When Fernando used to be pushed aside, Asalanka took over and taken up his 2d ODI fifty, a career-best 72, to guide Sri Lanka’s past due rate. They scored 90 runs off the remaining ten overs to enter the smash with the momentum on their aspect.
South Africa would wish to imagine the composition in their assault, and their solution to those prerequisites. They opted for most effective 5 frontline bowlers and trusted Aiden Markram’s part-time offspin for 6 overs. Their quicks, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, had been too brief, the allrounder, Andile Phehlukwayo lacked regulate, and Shamsi used to be inconsistent. Keshav Maharaj, regardless that, used to be exceptional. He produced his maximum economical go back in ODI cricket and was the one South African spinner bar Imran Tahir to concede not up to 30 runs in a ten-over spell in nearly a decade.

Rababa and Nortje began in pedestrian taste and conceded 41 runs within the first six overs. Each Fernando and Minod Bhanuka discovered obstacles off brief balls and ran neatly between wickets, on a flooring with a large outfield. The runs dried up with the advent of Maharaj within the 7th over, and Markram within the 10th. The pair bowled 8 overs in tandem and gave away most effective 25 runs. Crucially, additionally they took two wickets. Bhanuka used to be bowled by means of a Markram arm ball as he ignored with a slog sweep and, 4 balls later, Bhanuka Rajapaksa was the one Sri Lankan batter to fail at the day, when he holed out to deep mid-wicket off Maharaj. Sri Lanka had been 58 for two within the thirteenth over however South Africa had been not able to stay the power on.

Phehlukwayo gave away the primary boundary in additional than 50 balls when he angled his first supply down leg and Dhananjaya de Silva helped it to advantageous leg for 4. de Silva lived dangerously thereafter, hitting Shamsi simply over mid-off, the place he refrained from Phehlukwayo’s outstretched hand, and used to be dropped on 30, when he introduced a go back catch to Shamsi, because the rain got here down. A 25-minute extend gave de Silva, and South Africa, time to regroup, regardless that it didn’t appear to do both a lot just right. The batter used to be dropped once more, on 33, when he were given a thick edge off a past due reduce towards Maharaj, however Heinrich Klaasen may just no longer grasp directly to a low probability. de Silva used to be ultimately stumped by means of Klaasen after attaining out to comb Maharaj together with his again foot simply out of doors the crease.

Via that time, Fernando had introduced up his half-century with a unmarried to midwicket and the time used to be proper for the innings to get some impetus. Asalanka supplied it. He took at the spinners and picked up 18 from the primary 16 balls he confronted, sooner than Fernando freed his fingers to hit a difficult duration Rabada supply over deep backward sq. for the primary six of the innings. When Rabada attempted the legcutter, Fernando whipped it off his hips for 4, and when Phehukwayo took tempo off the ball, he drove him uppishly via additional duvet. He reached his century with a unmarried off Phehlukwayo, then plundered 13 off a Nortje over and appeared set to peer Sri Lanka to the shut, however used to be executed by means of a Shamsi unsuitable ‘un that he popped as much as level.

The dismissal of his senior spouse did not anything to gradual Asalanka down. He reached a 51-ball half-century with two runs off Nortje and constructed on it as South Africa misplaced their method in opposition to the top. Nortje’s ultimate over value 15 runs as he completed without any for 69 and Rabada gave away six extras in his remaining two overs to assist Sri Lanka achieve 300 and set South Africa’s batters a large process.

Historical past isn’t on South Africa’s aspect. They’ve most effective effectively chased a complete of 270-plus as soon as out of the remaining 9 occasions they’ve been set this sort of goal, and that used to be at house towards Australia in March 2020. There have most effective been two a hit chases over 300 in an ODI in Sri Lanka and the very best general effectively chased in a day-night recreation within the nation is 288.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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