The way South Africa have been trounced today has proved that when you opt to rule out world No. one bowler and world No. batsman from the team, the consequences are horrible – 180-run defeat. Sri Lanka limited the opponents to 140, who were chasing a target of 321 runs.

[caption id="attachment_1914" align="alignright" width="193"]169 runs on 137 balls, with six sixes and 18 fours. (Photo: AP) 169 runs on 137 balls, with six sixes and 18 fours. (Photo: AP)[/caption]

The main character of Sri Lanka’s victory was Kumar Sangakkara who scored 16th and undoubtedly one of the best centuries of his career. He scored 169 off 137 with the help of six 6s and 18 4s. What else do you need?

As Angelo Mathews was not leading the team due to suspension, young Dinesh Chandimal was captaining the team in the presence if three former skippers in the team. Chandimal did not even dream of such a victory.

Sangakkara entered the ground when Sri Lanka had lost Tillakaratne Dilshan in the fourth over. He had been clean bowled by Chris Morris. He then added 70 run to the total with Upal Tharanga, who was dismissed by Morkel in the 21st over after scoring 43 runs. The ball edged past the bat straight into the wickets.

Now two most senior players of the team were at the crease – Sangakkara along with Mahela Jayawardene.  They added 74 runs in the third wicket in 13 overs. When the last powerplay was about to start, Jayawardene fell prey to Morkel. The loss could be damaging on any other day. But today was a special day for Sangakkara. He completed his 16th century on 103 balls and then rammed into South African bowlers. From the 137 deliveries he faced during the innings, he made 103 runs on the last 46 balls.

When Sangakkara was dismissed by Aaron Phangiso in the 49th over, the score was already above 300.

Barring Morne Morkel, who gave 34 runs in 10 overs and took two wickets, all South African bowlers failed badly. Morris gave 80 runs in 9 overs, whereas Ryan McLaren gave 69 runs in 10 overs, and took one wicket apiece. Phangiso also took one wicket and gave 50 runs in 9 overs, but Jean-Paul Duminy could not claim a wicket and added insult to the team’s injury by giving 51 runs in 7 overs.

Chasing a gigantic target, the Proteas got a blow as soon as their innings started. Lasith Malinga sent Colin Ingram packing on the first ball, paving Sri Lanka’s way to win. Not a single partnership could be made that worried Sri Lanka. Alviro Petersen and Robin Peterson were the top scorers with 29 runs each and the team was bowled out on 140 runs in the 32nd over.

Thisara Perera and Rangana Herath both took three wickets, whereas Dilshan took two. Malinga and Shaminda Eranga took one wicket apiece.

And if you are still thinking who was declared the man of the match then you haven’t read this article from the beginning. Of course, Sangakkara.

Both teams will now face each other at the same venue on July 23 when Hashim Amla will possibly be back in the team and South Africa will live up to expectations.
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