ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 5 things Sri Lanka did wrong
Sri Lanka threw away a golden opportunity to upstage South Africa in their Champions Trophy opener at The Oval today. Having restricted the Proteas to 299 in spite of Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis scoring big, Sri Lanka started off with a bang courtesy Niroshan Dickwella.
The wicket-keeper batsman thrashed the South African bowlers to all corners of the park in an enterprising knock which came to an end when he skewed Morne Morkel to third man. Sri Lankan were well ahead of the game at that stage and had enough experienced heads to take them through.
But Imran Tahir contained them with his guile and variations. Coupled with some miraculous fielding from AB de Villiers, South Africa scripted a remarkable turnaround and cruised to victory. But Lanka will rue the fact that they let go of a game they could have won. Here we take a glance at five things Sri Lanka did wrong on the day.
#5 Omitting Lakshan Sandakan
The wily Chinaman was a useful bowler for the Sri Lankans when they played the Proteas in an ODI series in January. The likes of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis struggled to pick his variations in that series. Yet the Sri Lankan selectors felt that Seekkuge Prasanna would add more value to the team.
While an all-rounder is always handy, there is no substitute for a specialist and Sri Lankan definitely missed the mystery bowler when Amla and du Plessis got going in the Proteas innings. Prasanna did do his selection justice with the big wicket of de Villiers but Sandakan on a slightly sluggish pitch could have been more effective.