South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2017, 1st ODI: Five talking points

Parnell(L) wrecked the Lanka top order

Imran Tahir and Wayne Parnell took three wickets apiece to bowl out Lanka for their third lowest total in ODIs in South Africa, 181. A 71-run opening partnership between de Kock and Amla then helped South Africa ease past the target.

Parnell, opening the bowling, dismissed the dangerous Dickwella and debutant Weerakkody off his first seven balls to put Lanka in a spot of bother. Tahir then came to the fore in a brilliant display of leg-spin bowling, wrecking the Lankan middle order with three crucial wickets.

Sri Lanka never recovered from there and were bowled out for 181. de Kock and Amla, returning to the top of the order after a break shared a 71 run partnership before the former was dismissed. After Amla was caught and bowled for 57, du Plessis and de Villiers played some pleasing shots to race past the target.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 181/10 in 48.3 overs (Mendis 62, Tahir 3/26, Parnell 3/48) lost to South Africa 185/2 in 34.2 overs (Amla 57, du Plessis 55)

Result: South Africa won by eight wickets.

Take a look at the crucial moments from the first ODI in Port Elizabeth.

#5 Parnell makes strong statement

Wayne Parnell is in contention to become Kagiso Rabada’s new ball partner in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England. Kyle Abbott was South Africa's nominated candidate to open the attack but his Kolpak deal left South Africa searching for another option.

Parnell has been in and out of the ODI side in recent times but some fine form in the domestic circuit had earned him a longer run in the eleven. He took two crucial wickets at the top of the order to reduce Lanka to 14/2.

He had Dickwella of the first ball he bowled before dismissing the debutant, Weerakkody in his 2nd over. Parnell returned to dismiss the flamboyant Dhananjaya de Silva to put a complete brake to the Lankan innings.

#4 Tahir wrecks Lankan hopes

Tahir celebrates one of his many wickets

Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal were building a solid, but slow partnership after the early wickets. Despite the slow pace, they were eager to build a firm platform before launching in the final few overs.

But Imran Tahir had other plans as he cleaned up Chandimal with a wrong 'un before trapping Kusal Mendis in front for 62. Sri Lanka were 99/4 by then and had neither the run rate nor enough wickets in hand to mount a substantial score.

Tahir then had the skipper, Tharanga caught at cover from around the stumps and Lanka slumped to 181 all out from 102/5, never recovering from the three-wicket burst.

#3 Amla finds some much-needed form

South Africa v Sri Lanka - 1st One Day International : News Photo
Amla was at his stroke making best

Hashim Amla was a concern for the South Africans in the Test series before he smashed a ton in his hundredth Test. But if that was not proof enough of his form, Amla played some pleasing shots in the first ODI to register a half-century.

De Kock and Amla were under no pressure, chasing a meagre total and raced past fifty, before de Kock was dismissed for 34 with the partnership at 71. du Plessis gave Amla company as the latter reached a well compiled fifty.

Going into the Champions Trophy the form of Amla and de Kock will be crucial for the South Africans. The former was harsh on the Lankan spinners as he thrashed Vandersay and Sandakan to the fence on numerous occasions.

#2 du Plessis finds his feet

du Plessis spent some much-needed time at the crease

Faf du Plessis has not been at his best recently though his Steve Waugh-style captaincy and dynamic fielding were very much in the limelight. du Plessis needed some runs in the middle and in this ODI, he had the time to settle down and play a fine knock.

He joined Amla at the crease in the 14th over and found his feet pretty quickly. du Plessis creamed a lofted cover drove off Sandakan to start his innings before another drive off Vandersay reached the fence.

After Amla was dismissed, de Villiers joined the 32-year-old and the latter was by then very much in his groove. A scorching straight drive off Lakmal showed the Lankans that he meant business. du Plessis soon reached his half-century as South Africa cruised past the target.

#1 AB de Villiers’ ODI return

AB is finally back

South Africans were eagerly awaiting the return of their stalwart batsman, de Villiers and he showed that he had lost little touch in his time out from the game with a fifty in the T20s earlier.

In PE, de Villiers returned to the helm in the format he intends to play till 2019. Self-admittedly, it is in ODIs that he looks to prolong his career as he chases an elusive ICC trophy for his country.

In his comeback in ODIs, de Villiers rotated his bowlers well and looked calm at the crease, playing some reverse laps off Vandersay and then mauling the same bowler over cow corner for a maximum. He was unbeaten on 30 off 27 balls at the end of the game.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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