ANALYSIS: Proteas manage strengths well to thrash Sri Lanka in first ICC Champs Trophy encounter

BY MARC JACOBSON - JUNE 5, 2017
ANALYSIS: Proteas manage strengths well to thrash Sri Lanka in first ICC Champs Trophy encounter

The Proteas endured a slow beginning and end, but a mid-innings boom saw the South Africans project a competitive 299/6 after their 50 allotted overs against Sri Lanka in their first ICC Champions Trophy match-up at the Kennington Oval in London on Saturday.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, started like a house on fire in their batting display, and after the first 10 overs heeded a run-rate of 9.00 to South Africa’s approximate 3.00 run-rate at the same time.

In the comparative overs’ projection, Sri Lanka stood on 87/1 after 10 overs, while South Africa totalled 39/0, but it was the mid-innings spike that set the Proteas a part on the day.

After the cautious start, which saw Quinton de Kock depart for 23, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis partnered well in the middle to stream their side’s run-rate well throughout the innings.

Comparatively, Sri Lanka started their slow decline after the first 10-over swell, while the Proteas, after the loss of de Kock in the 13th over, gradually climbed and it was in the 28th over when South Africa crossed over their rate to supersede the Sri Lankans.

Sri Lanka lost four wickets in that same 17-over decline, while the Proteas maintained strike and kept momentum on a relatively slow wicket, which saw Amla connecting well to score 103 and becoming the fastest ever batsman to score 25 ODI centuries, which he did in 151 innings’ beating India’s Virat Kholi’s previous standing of 162 innings’.

Due to Sri Lanka’s bowling lines, both Amla and du Plessis, utilized the pull shots to mid-wicket for their most productive run scores. Du Plessis was eventually caught in the 34th over for a well-contributed 75 and a stern 145-run partnership with Amla, and just an over later, captain AB de Villiers top-edged a ball horrifically to be caught for a mere four runs.

It was then on the 38th over, where South Africa seemingly slumped slightly, added by the loss of David Miller and Amla in the space of five balls in the 43rd over. On a tricky wicket, it may have been deemed that the Proteas were going through a late collapse.

JP Duminy then took strike and outed well-composedly to score 38 not out and guide South Africa to their decent total under the circumstances. Morris also partnered bravely to score 20 before being hastily run-out.

A special mention must go to man-of-the-match, Imran Tahir, who was the product of Sri Lanka’s complete collapse, as he broke through their batting order with sublime figures of 4/27, while also maintaining the lowest economy-rate of 3.17.

Additionally, Tahir also contributed towards two run-outs, and thankfully so for South Africa, the world’s no.1 spinner was cleared to play after passing a late fitness test.

Sri Lanka’s crumble eventually saw them bowled all out in the 42nd over for 203, losing the game by 96 runs.

After India’s 124-run massacre of Pakistan (D/L Method), they are sitting on top of Group B with a Net Run-Rate (NRR) of 3.024, above South Africa’s 1.92. The Proteas are set to face Pakistan at Birmingham on Wednesday.

Image: Imran Tahir acknowedged by AB de Villiers following their victory over Sri Lanka.