• Sunday, July 27, 2014

Proteas true to form

Al-Amin

In the end Sri Lanka were easy winners. The victory margin of five runs may suggest otherwise. But not many people have noticed Imran Tahir hitting the last ball for a six. Had he connected the previous two deliveries against Lasith Malinga, who conceded four runs in his first five deliveries of the final over, it could have been an interesting story. But given Malinga's abilities in the death overs, South Africa perhaps needed a Lance Klusener to turn the tables around.
They were actually in a better position, needing 19 runs from 12 deliveries with five wickets still standing. Nuwan Kulasekara and Malinga bowled really well in the last two overs. But unfortunately South Africa failed to even put pressure on the bowlers. Had it been any other top team, the match could have been much closer. This is perhaps the perennial problem for a talented yet unsuccessful Proteas, who more often then not choke at crucial stages of a game be it in Tests, ODIs or T20s. This is an important win for the Lankans despite the fact their three most experienced campaigns -- Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara -- did not come to the party.
Young left-hander Kusal Perera played a fantastic innings of 60. The way the fearless left-hander treated a fearful Dale Steyn was a delight to watch. It was the second match of the Super 10s and finished without any fuss. But a thunderstorm, a familiar phenomenon in this part of the world at this time, inevitably struck the third game between England and New Zealand. It seems the Nor'wester has hit a bit early.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, March 23, 2014

Last modified: 12:56 am Sunday, March 23, 2014

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