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Sunday, 22 January 2012





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Sri Lanka out to end SA tour on a high note

JOHANNESBURG, Jan 21 - Sri Lanka, inspired by Friday’s great fight back in Kimberley, are determined to end their six-week tour on a winning note when they take on South Africa in the fifth and final One Day International to be played at New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday (22).

Having already lost the five-match series 1-3 after surrendering meekly in the first three games, Sri Lanka will make every effort to win their last outing to regain its lost glory before next month’s tour of Australia.

The Lankan team is determined to make every effort to pull off their second ODI win on tour, after successfully chasing a target of 300 runs to win last night’s fourth ODI at De Beers Diamond Oval under lights.

Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan, who hit a run-a-ball 87 to top score for his team yesterday, said he is happy that the team has found the winning formula at least by the end of the series that is going to help in the Tri-Series in Australia next month. “It feels good to score some runs, but it’s a bit late,” he said.

“The pitch was really good and when Upul (Tharanga) got out, I took a few chances because we were chasing 300. I just played my own game. After the Dilscoop went for six, I got more confident,” he said. Dilshan brought out his signature shot off Vernon Philander’s second ball which sailed over the fine leg boundary.

Dilshan feels the match in Kimberley should have been a final. “We need to finish strongly, end the tour on a winning note. That is important and would be a morale booster for the boys before the Australia tour. If we could end the series 2-3 after losing the first three games in-a-row, it will be a fantastic effort,” he said.

But Dilshan is fully aware of the challenge they face even though South Africa has already won the series.

“We have to play well. We can’t relax because South Africa has a good team and they are playing well. We know we are capable, and knew we could do much better than the first game,” a determined Sri Lanka captain said.

It was a timely match-winning innings by Dilshan at a time his captaincy has been widely criticised and seems to be in the balance. Perhaps, Sunday’s game could well be his last game as captain as there is speculation that the new selectors would explore the possibility of bringing back veteran Mahela Jayewardene as captain.

Nevertheless, Dilshan has assured his place in the team after yesterday’s fireworks.

“I am not listening to the news, anyone can write anything. I want to finish this series because the selectors appointed me for the South Africa tour. It’s up to them if I carry on. I am waiting for their call. I’m still enjoying my captaincy,” he said after his majestic innings.

Despite being unable to led Sri Lanka to a single Test or ODI series victory during his tenure since the World Cup, he said he had achieved other goals for the country, such as blooding the next generation at enormous self-sacrifice.

“The main thing is that I want to see youngsters performing for Sri Lanka. I have done everything for my country. When they wanted me to keep wicket, I did it. When they wanted me to bat at No. 1, I did it. When they want me to bat at No. 6, I do it.

These are the last few years of my international career and I want to finish strongly,” he added stating that in another few years after his retirement, he could “sit back and watch those youngsters do these things for Sri Lanka”.

He feels happy that Sri Lanka has been able to groom future prospects such as Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera during his tenure.

But South Africa is determined not to let Sri Lanka win again and win the series 4-1. Captain A.B. de Villiers said South Africa put on a barely believable and sometimes-comical fielding display, mixing terrific catches like Alviro Petersen’s leap on the boundary to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara with horrible gaffes such as Morne Morkel’s drop of Angelo Mathews. “We weren’t great in the field today, We created a few chances that we didn’t take,” he said.

“I needed to take a few chances because we needed wickets and I thought the bowlers did really well on a good pitch.

But I made a few tactical errors and used the wrong bowlers at the wrong time. But we are all out to win the final game and extend our winning margin of the series to 4-1,” he said.

Sunday’s fifth ODI will be South Africa’s last home appearance of the summer before they head to New Zealand and England.

De Villiers said they want end this series in as strong a position as possible. “We spoke about ruthlessness before this game but we weren’t that ruthless.

We’ll have to do that better. We wanted a whitewash but we didn’t do that. Now, we want to make it at least 4-1,” he concluded.

		Score Board

A. Petersen c Tharanga b Herath  		37
G. Smith c Dilshan b Malinga 			68
A.B. de Villiers b Perera    			96
C. Ingram lbw b Kulasekara 			01
J.P. Duminy c Sangakkara b Perera		36
F. du Plessis c Sangakkara b Herath		05
W. Parnell run out (Tharanga)			21
R. Peterson not out 				23
V. Philander not out  				02
Extras (b4, w6) 				10
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs)  		       299

Did not bat: M. Morkel, L. Tsotsobe
Fall of wickets: 1-84 (Petersen), 2-171 (Smith)
		 3-172 (Ingram), 4-242 (Duminy)
		 5-250 (De Villiers), 6-252 (Du Plessis)
		 7-289 (Parnell)
Bowling: Malinga 10-0-57-1 (4w)
	 Kulasekara 8-0-40-1
	 Senanayake 10-1-53-0
	 Perera 4-0-34-2 (2w)
	 Mathews 1-0-6-0
	 Dilshan 8-0-60-0
	 Herath 9-0-45-2

U. Tharanga c De Villiers b Tsotsobe		06
T. Dilshan c Duminy b Tsotsobe			87
K. Sangakkara c Petersen b Peterson 		32
D. Chandimal b Tsotsobe 			59
L. Thirimanne c Duminy b Philander		13
T. Perera not out 				69
A. Mathews not out  				21
Extras (b4, lb5, w6, nb2) 			17
Total (5 wkts, 48.4 overs)		       304

Did not bat: N. Kulasekara, L. Malinga, R. Herath, S. Senanayake
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Tharanga), 2-100 (Sangakkara)
		 3-168 (Dilshan), 4-194 (Thirmanne)
		 5-246 (Chandimal)
Bowling: Morkel 8-0-43-0 (2w)
	 Tsotsobe 10-0-51-3 (1w)
	 Philander 6-0-39-1 (2w)
	 Parnell 9-0-52-0 (1nb)
	 Duminy 4.4-0-37-0
	 Peterson 6-0-47-1
	 Du Plessis 5-0-26-0 (1w)

Man of the match: Thisara Perera (SRI).
Series: South Africa lead five-match series 3-1.
Umpires: Johan Cloete (RSA) and Billy Doctrove (WIS)
TV umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG) 
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)
Remaining match: Jan 22 - fifth ODI, Johannesburg (day).


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