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18 Jan 2012 12:33
Sri Lanka were left devastated after their hopes of keeping the one-day series against South Africa alive were crushed by the Duckworth Lewis method in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
The Proteas took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series when the match was called off because of rain after 34 overs had been bowled, handing the hosts a four-run win.
South Africa had been behind in the run rate required throughout their innings, until the last over.
“Everything went against us and as a team we are very disappointed,” said Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.
“We had a good chance to win this one-dayer, but we can’t control the weather and Duckworth Lewis.”
Dilshan said he was unaware out in the middle that a storm was looming or he might have used a different bowling tactic.
The scoreboard was ticking along and the Proteas were closing the gap when Dilshan brought on Lasith Malinga.
At the start of the 34th over, South Africa were four runs behind, on 171 for five, and needed five runs from the over to be ahead on the calculated method. They made eight runs before the rain came down.
“I didn’t see anything, it was really dark and I couldn’t see in the clouds,” Dilshan said.
“I brought Lasith on to get the wicket but, unfortunately, it started drizzling and the rain came down after just one over.”
Efforts were made to remove the water, with the Super Sopper used sporadically, though it broke down a couple of times.
With a huge outfield at Chevrolet Park, the ground staff were never going to clear the field, especially as light drizzle continued.
Dilshan, however, admitted the weather played only a small part in his team’s loss.
“Everyone got starts with the bat this time, but no one batted through,” he said.
“The two run-outs [Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara] cost us and we were short by 20 runs again.
“Before this tour, I thought 250 was a good total, but when batting I realised it was a 280 wicket.
“We batted well but one guy should have continued batting after getting a start, and we are also failing in our fielding, giving away another 20 runs.”
The Sri Lankans were training hard and doing everything right in their pre-match preparations, Dilshan said, but things nonetheless seemed to be going wrong for them.
“We don’t need anything to change in our training, and we will stick to what we’ve done today but we have to improve in those two areas—our fielding and somebody getting a good start must bat through.”
Appointed as the skipper for the South African tour, Dilshan said he was happy to stay on as captain if he was asked to do so.
“I’ll finish the one-day series and after that it’s up to them [the selectors] but I’m still comfortable as captain,” he said.—Sapa
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