Done and dusted in the Tests but have risen like a phoenix in the One-dayers. South Africa have opened their account on the tour. And they combined dosages of pace and spin to do it. And not to forget some counter-attacking batsmanship that helped them track the total down with elan. In the fun company of Pradeep Krishnamurthy, Sagar Chawla and Rishi Roy, this is Kumar Abhisekh Das waving you tada!
Faf du Plessis: Feels much better. The first 15 overs, there is an opportunity to get wickets with the seamers. My observation was that it stays the same throughout the day and there is a possibility to pick wickets with the new ball. The breeze was a big challenge. But luckily, we have had past experiences of playing when the wind was pumping. We remembered a few things from those days. In the Test series, we did not play well, but there's a new group of players here. The conditions will be a little closer in ODIs. All the batters tried to take risks against the spinners and tried to put pressure on them. Even some like JP coming in and taking risks to finish it off was great for us.
Angelo Mathews: Not the best day for us. We have four more games to bounce back. The way KJ Perera and Thisara batted gave us a lot of confidence. 250 plus would have been a good score. The South Africans bowled and batted well, credit to them. They have always got a good bowling line-up wherever they have played. We need to bat well especially with the new ball. Getting bowled out inside 34 overs was pretty disappointing. Had we batted those 16 overs, we would have got to 230-240. We will take the positives and move forward.
Tabraiz Shamsi, Man of the Match: Our fast bowlers were exceptional up front. They did a lot of damage at the top and that made it easier for the rest of the bowlers. The wind was a major factor. You have to see which angles and which lines to bowl. It was a part of the challenge as it is part and parcel of the game. This one did not spin much but youhave to give it your best shot no matter what kind of wicket is given to you. We have a lovely backroom staff as well who helped us.
Duminy: We have had some conversations over the last week, talking about being positive and follow a game plan, it all came well today. Today's mindset was to take them on from first ball, there were some demons around. We have learnt from the Tests, all our plans worked today which was nice to see. There was something in the wicket for the first 10-15 overs and KG was brilliant. We bowled the South African lengths, there was something in it for the seamers, it slowed up as the game progressed and there was a bit in it for the spinners as well. We had a poor Test series, so it was important to put up our best foot forward in the one-day series and we have done just that.
But after the lunch break, QDK and Faf took charge to keep the Lankan spinners at bay with positive batsmanship. Both got out before they got to fifties but Duminy 'swept' his way to a fifty. He applied a very simple formula - sweep anything slightly outside off and that worked wonders for the southpaw. South Africa have gone 1-0 up in the five match series and would wait to see what skipper Mathews has to say on it. Hang on!
At 36 for 5, it looked like Sri Lanka will be blown away. But then KJ Perera and Thisara Perera decided to fight fire with fire. They counter-attacked and were involved in a quickfire partnership for the 6th wicket, which served as the base for their meek total of 193. South Africa were torn apart by spin in the whites and it looked like another episode will unfold after Amla and Markram got out to successive balls off Dananjaya.
Only a couple of shots and that will do. Duminy's innings has been so refreshing. Signs of things that South Africa won't be meek push-overs like they were in the whites.
Slip and FSL comes in for the new man. 19 more needed.
Lakshan Sandakan [6.0-0-55-1] is back into the attack
Willem Mulder, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Lakmal to Miller, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Miller has been given out LBW here as a yorkerish delivery seemed to have landed on his boot as he missed the clip. That landed on the full and don't think there was any bat. UltraEdge does not show any speck. No bat! Was it in line with the sticks? Might be umpire's call. Is going to be very close. My intuition is hitting him just outside leg. The impact was umpire's call and is crashing into the sticks. South Africa lose Miller.
So, Mathews has finally, reluctantly, gone back to his seamer.
Suranga Lakmal [4.0-0-26-0] is back into the attack
Shehan Jayasuriya [3.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
Only 35 now..JPD has come out all guns blazing. When put to test against Kuldeep and Chahal earlier, he flopped but not this time.
David Miller, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Sandakan to du Plessis, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Lanka cannot allow a partnership to build.
Lakshan Sandakan [3.0-0-28-0] is back into the attack
Jean-Paul Duminy, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Dananjaya to de Kock, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Timely boundaries have allowed South Africa to avert any sort of pressure. Both the batters have used their feet to perfection.
Only 90 needed now. Wickets though can make it interesting.
The lankans have gone up here. That was a flighted ball and was turning across a bit. The batsman went for the sweep and missed it. That might have landed slightly outside leg. Was it heading towards the sticks? Don't think there was any bat on it. UltraEdge shows there is nothing on it. And it has indeed pitched outside leg. Only marginal.
Akila Dananjaya [6.0-0-28-2] is back into the attack
Shehan Jayasuriya [1.0-0-6-0] is back into the attack
Lakshan Sandakan, left-arm chinaman, comes into the attack
Lahiru Kumara, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Two men out on the on-side now, to protect the sweep
Suranga Lakmal [2.0-0-15-0] is back into the attack
Wide slip for Lakmal, round the wicket
Back from the break. More spin, more Dananjaya. Slip, leg slip, short leg, short midwicket
13:30 Local Time, 08:00 GMT, 13:30 IST: That will be the lunch break. Akila Dananjaya's double-strike has kept this game well and truly alive. It will be a confidence thing for South Africa in this chase. They were clueless against spin in the Tests, and seeing that happen to Amla and Markram again must have rattled them. So even with a target of 194, nothing is a given. Join us back in 35, could be a fun low-scoring affair.
Shehan Jayasuriya, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Faf du Plessis, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Dananjaya to Markram, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Aiden Markram, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Dananjaya to Amla, THAT'S OUT!! Bowled!!
The seam movement from the morning has vanished
Suranga Lakmal, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
Amla and de Kock are at the crease. Amla is on strike. Dananjaya will open the attack