Sri Lanka through to the finals by crushing South Africa
Posted on: Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Sri Lanka won the most crucial match by 76 runs crushing South Africa in Hobart, Australia today in their virtual semi final match in the VB one day series, earning the coveted opportunity to play in the final matches against Australia.
A decent score
Sri Lanka scored 257 in their 50 overs with Marven Attapattu top scoring 80 runs after opening the innings with Sanath Jayasuriya for the first time in the series. Jayasuriya played his usual blistering game scoring a quick 25 runs with a superb six gave the Sri Lanka an igniting start. Sangakkara, who has earned much respect from the international commentators proved yet again that he is a one of the finest batsmen in the world game of Cricket today and scored a valuable 62 runs paving the way for Sri Lankans to finally post a decent score of 257 in their 50 overs loosing 9 wickets.
Malinga the wrecker
Chasing a reasonable one day score of 257 South Africans, with much depth in their batting line up were unable to cope up with determined attack by the Sri Lankan bowlers. Vass spearheaded the initial damage to the South African inning by taking two of the most important early wickets of Dippenaar scoring 9 runs and Gibbs for a duck, finishing his spell by taking 2 wickets for 19 runs. Middle order was completely wrecked by Malinga Bandara taking 4 wickets for 31 runs. The only consolation for the South Africans was the fact that Captain Graeme Smith regained his form by top scoring 67 runs, who was struggling for form in the last few games but with the support of Sri Lankan fielders who missed a few easy chances of getting him out. Despite the fact that Sri Lankans dropped a few catches, average level of fielding were good enough to bowl out South Africans for 181 in order to win the game comprehensively by 76 runs.
Malinga Bandara received the well deserved Man of the match trophy for the today’s game. The first final will be played at the Adelaide Oval on Friday (10) and the second final at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday (12). If both teams win a game each, a third final will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday the 14 instant. As the Adelaide Oval and SCG are fantastic wickets for Sri Lankan style of playing, this win of the under dogs has given much worries to the Australian team who preferred to play with the Proteas in the final rather than with highly unpredictable Sri Lankans.