(UDHAYAM, PORT ELIZABETH) – The confidence boost Sri Lanka gained from their T20 series victory did not carry over into the start of the one-day internationals as they were trounced by eight wickets in Port Elizabeth.
A master class of limited-overs leg spin by Imran Tahir snuffed out the middle order as they limped to 181, which proved a scant challenge for South Africa’s full-strength top order.
Tahir finished with 3 for 26, including the scalp of top-scorer Kusal Mendis for 62, and did not concede a boundary in his 10 overs to ensure South Africa always held control after choosing to bowl first.
Wayne Parnell had made swift work of the openers, before a stand of 72 for the third wicket between Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal steadied the innings, although it was laborious progress against probing bowling from South Africa’s quartet of seamers.
It meant that when Tahir made his inroads, with three wickets in 15 balls, Sri Lanka had little to show for the consolidation and the innings frittered away.
An opening stand of 71 in 13 overs between Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla, two of the senior South Africa players rested from the T20 series, broke the back of the chase and the target was knocked off with more than 15 overs to spare.
AB de Villiers had a memorable start as he was back as captain, in his first one-day international since last June.