Dilshan, Mendis give Sri Lanka crucial win in Champions Trophy

Dilshan, Mendis give Sri Lanka crucial win in Champions Trophy


 South Africa's Jaques Kallis, left, look on as Graeme Smith is bowled out by Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis at CenturionTuesday. AP Photo

Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan struck a flamboyant 106 as Sri Lanka made 319 for eight in 50 overs after they were put into bat by South Africa in the Group B match.

In reply, South Africa were struggling at 206 for seven in 37.4 overs with Albie Morkel batting on 26 and Roelof van der Merwe three when heavy rains came down forcing the abandonment of the match.

Spinner Ajantha Mendis troubled the South African batsmen with his three for 30 and pegged them on the back foot.
Dilshan was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 92-ball innings during which he hit 16 fours and one six. Dilshan and skipper Kumar Sangakkara (54) reaped 158 runs on a slow, even-bounce pitch to build the foundation of the innings.

Mahela Jayawardene (77) and Thilan Samaraweera (37) caused more problems for the hosts, adding 116 runs off 106 runs for the fourth wicket before Wayne Parnell dismissed them in consecutive deliveries. Both Parnell and Dale Steyn picked up three wickets.

South Africa started the chase on a rocky note after medium pacer Angelo Matthews rattled opener Hasim Amla’s (2) stumps in the third over.
Graeme Smith (58) and Jacques Kallis (31) started the repair act but it was mystery spinner Mendis who turned the match on his heels picking up the two batsmen for his three for 30.
South African batsmen completely failed to read Mendis and the Sri Lankan simply kept the host guessing with his well disguised deliveries.

Sri Lanka began their campaign on a perfect note as they first amassed 319 for eight in 50 overs after being invited to bat and then put up a disciplined bowling performance to prevent South Africa from upstaging them.
Chasing 320 to win, skipper Graeme Smith hit a defiant 58 en route his 81-run first wicket stand with Jacques Kallis (41) to raise hope of a successful run chase but Mendis spoiled South Africa's chase with his fiery spell.
Rain also added to South Africa's woes when play was called off because of torrential rains. Albie Morkel (29) and Roelof van der Merwe (3) were at crease and scoreboard was reading 206 for seven in 37.4 overs at Supersports park yesterday.
Earlier, Sri Lanka produced a brilliant batting display with Dilshan leading the pack with a blistering 92-ball 106, followed by Kumar Sangakkara (54), Mehala Jayawardene (77) and Thilan Samaraweera (37).

South Africa lost opener Hashim Amla (2) in the third over when he dragged one off Angelo Mathews onto his stumps but Smith (58) and Kallis (41) ensured there was no further damage.
After a few silent overs, the duo stepped on the gas and started playing freely as South Africa got past the 50-run mark in 9.2 overs.
Smith hit Nuwan Kulasekara for two fours and a six in the 10th over on the way to his 39th ODI fifty in 40 balls.
Mendis was introduced into the attack and the Lankan spinner struck in his first ball rocking Smith's woods.
With spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Mendis bowling in tandem, runs dried up as Kallis and Ab De Villiers (24) relied more on ones and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Mendis the got rid of Kallis and JP Duminy (0) in successive deliveries in the 21st over to push the Proteas on the backfoot, reducing the hosts to 113 for four.
Lasith Malinga accounted for De Villiers when he miscued a shot to give an easy catch to Jayawardene. Mark Boucher (26) and Johan Botha (21) also followed him to the hut.
Albie Morkel (29) tried his best but couldn't do much as the match gradually slipped out of their hands.

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