Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper
Udana heroics not enough for sorry Sri Lanka
AFP, Port Elizabeth :
A blazing innings by tailender Isuru Udana could not prevent another heavy defeat for Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international against South Africa at St George's Park on Wednesday.
Batting at number nine, Udana hit 78 in a Sri Lankan total of 189. But it was not nearly enough as South Africa cruised to a six-wicket win and a 4-0 lead in the series with 17.1 overs to spare.
Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga again lamented the failure of the top-order batting.
"This wicket is very suitable to the bat," he said. "They (the batsmen) didn't realise their value and take the opportunity to play a long innings."
Quinton de Kock hit his fifth successive ODI half-century for South Africa, making 51 before he became one of three victims for off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva, who opened the bowling and took three for 41.
Udana apart, it was a dismal batting performance by Sri Lanka, marked by soft dismissals, with none softer than the run-out of Malinga.
Sri Lanka have lost all eight ODIs under Malinga's captaincy and the veteran was dismissed in almost embarrassing circumstances.
Batting at number ten, he played the ball to midwicket. Not only did he fail to sprint in attempting a single but his bat was in the air when a throw from Reeza Hendricks hit the stumps at the bowler's end.
Sri Lanka were 131 for nine when Malinga was out but Udana smashed 55 runs in a 58-run last-wicket partnership with Kasun Rajitha. The other three runs were extras.
Udana, who has hit two centuries in first-class cricket, made his runs off 57 balls and hit seven fours and four sixes - three of them off successive balls from fast bowler Anrich Nortje.