Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, 1st ODI: Highlights, Scorecard and Report

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Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, 1st ODI: Highlights, Scorecard and Report
Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 75 runs in the first ODI at Colombo. The South Africans were buoyed by a stunning display with the bat that culminated in setting Sri Lanka the task of surpassing 304 runs.

That healthy total was established by AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla. The pair of thunderous hitters combined to amass 184 runs, per Sky Sports, with Amla topping the century. 

The ICC Twitter feed credited the duo as the main inspiration for South Africa's win:

Both De Villiers and Amla had fun smashing tame and wayward deliveries to the boundary. The scorecards show that the pair feasted on fours, combining for 13:

South Africa Batting Scorecard
Batsman Out Bowler Runs Balls Fours Sixes
Hashim Amla lbw Ajantha Mendis 109 130 8 1
Quinton de Kock Bowled Angelo Mathews 27 35 3 1
Jacques Kallis lbw Ajantha Mendis 0 2 0 0
AB de Villiers Caught by Nuwan Kulasekara Ajantha Mendis 75 70 5 1
Jean-Paul Duminy Caught by Tillakarante Dilshan Sachitra Senanayake 16 25 0 0
David Miller Not Out 36 21 2 2
Ryan McLaren Not Out 22 18 2 0

Sky Sports and BBC Sport

South Africa clearly found it easy dealing with Sri Lanka's steadily paced bowling attack. The lack of variety, both in trajectory and speed, was a major factor here.

That played into the hands of heavy hitters like De Villiers and Amla. Lasith Malinga endured an inconsistent day, as the scorecard reveals:

Sri Lanka Bowling Scorecard
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Economy Rate
Lasith Malinga 7 0 52 0 7.43
Nuwan Kulasekara 6 0 26 0 4.33
Sachithra Senanayake 10 0 49 1 4.90
Angelo Mathews 6 1 30 1 5.00
Ajantha Mendis 10 0 61 3 6.10
Ashan Privyanjan 7 0 47 0 6.71
Tillakarante Dilshan 4 0 31 0 7.75

Sky Sports and BBC Sport

Sri Lanka clearly felt they could target the South Africans with spin. However, without sufficient pace to accompany the spin, the ploy soon became repetitive.

This was one of many strategic gaffes Sri Lanka were guilty of in this international, according to ESPN Cricinfo writer Firdose Moonda:

Despite a speedy start and a sparkling 88 from Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka lost their last five wickets for 13 runs and were left to rue the tactical mistakes they made in the first half of the match. They put down de Villiers on 17 and Amla on 49, which cost them, but Angelo Mathews seemed overly reliant on the notion South Africa would struggle against spin. He held his seamers back to his own detriment.

Keeping the seamers off the field particularly suited de Villiers, who has struggled against that type of bowling at times. However, it was a devilish spinner from the productive Ajantha Mendis that eventually caught him out.

Eventually, Sri Lanka took their turn at the wicket. Even with more than 300 to claw back, Sri Lanka's ample batting talent made that tall order a possibility.

It was Kumar Sangakkara who made the best effort, as Sky Sports noted: "Kumar Sangakkara largely carried Sri Lankan hopes of pulling off the testing run-chase but, after he was dismissed for 88 in the 38th over, the writing was on the wall, and it was all over three overs later as the hosts were skittled for 229."

Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press
Kumar Sangakkara did his best to torment the South Africans.

The left-hander played some beautiful and clever strokes to amass runs in chunks early on. In fact, he finished just 12 short of the century.

South African had leg-break bowler Imran Tahir to thank for preserving their lead. He claimed three wickets.

He was aided by McLaren, who contributed two wickets of his own, including seeing off Sangakkara:

Here's the full batting and bowling scorecards from Sri Lanka's innings:

Sri Lanka Batting Scorecard
Batsmen Out Bowler Runs Balls Fours Sixes
Kushal Perera Caught by Morne Morkel Vernon Philander 34 33 6 0
Tillakarante Dilshan Caught by Quinton de Kock Morne Morkel 40 46 5 0
Kumar Sangakkara Caught, Sub Ryan McLaren 88 84 9 0
Mahela Jayawardene Caught by Quinton de Kock Imran Tahir 10 16 0 0
Ashan Priyanjan Caught by Jacques Kallis Imran Tahir 5 8 0 0
Angelo Mathews Caught by Quinton de Kock Morne Morkel 13 13 1 0
Lahiru Thirimane Bowled Ryan McLaren 15 26 0 0
Nuwan Kulasekara Bowled Dale Steyn 1 3 0 0
Sachithra Senanayake Bowled Imran Tahir 6 5 1 0
Ajantha Mendis Caught by Ryan McLaren Dale Steyn 0 7 0 0
Lasith Malinga Not Out 6 4 0 1

Sky Sports and BBC Sport

South Africa Bowling Scorecard
Bowler Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Economy Rate
Dale Steyn 7.3 0 38 2 5.07
Vernon Philander 8 0 40 1 5.00
Morne Morkel 7 0 39 2 5.57
Ryan McLaren 6 0 33 2 5.50
Imran Tahir 7 0 50 3 7.14
Jean-Paul Duminy 5 0 24 0 4.80

Sky Sports and BBC Sport

As the cards show, Sri Lanka were not as successful at landing the big strikes. That was largely due to the increased and varied pace of the South African bowling attack.

Dale Steyn set a fast pace and his efforts were matched by the equally speedy bowling of Morne Morkel. Sandwiched in between was the medium-paced bowling of Vernon Philander.

By varying the tempo of play, South Africa kept Sri Lanka off balance. Meanwhile, Tahir served as the wild card, presenting a different challenge each time he bowled.

This eclectic approach undermined Sri Lanka's usual powerful batting. It ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in South Africa's victory.

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