Spinner Sandakan stars
COLOMBO, Aug 14, (AFP): Spinner Lakshan Sandakan starred in Sri Lanka’s hard fought three-wicket win over South Africa in the only Twenty20 international after bowling out the visitors for their lowest total in the game’s shortest format.
Electing to bat in the only T20 match of the tour, South Africa were bowled out for 98, a total the hosts surpassed with four overs to spare.
The Proteas, who lost the two-Test series 2-0 and then came back to clinch the one-day internationals 3-2, were two runs less than their previous low score of 100 against Pakistan in 2013.
Dinesh Chandimal, who returned from his ban for breaching the spirit of the game, remained unbeaten on 36 to guide the team home in a tricky chase.
Chandimal’s 53-run third-wicket partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva, who made 31, was key in Sri Lanka reaching their target in 16 overs.
“I realised it was not a T20 wicket and just rotated strike. I just played like Test cricket,” Chandimal said after the win.
“It’s really good to come back after (the) ODI series. The boys showed a lot of character and attitude and finished it on a winning note. It’s good for the Asia Cup (upcoming 50-over tournament in September),” Chandimal said of his side.
But it was Sandakan’s bowling figures of 3-19 with his left-arm wrist spin that set up the win. He was ably supported by fellow spinners de Silva and Akila Dananjaya who took two wickets each.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock top-scored with 20 before being run out but the rest of the South African batting fell flat in 16.4 overs.
Sri Lankan batsmen also made heavy weather of their 99-run target as the South African bowlers led by paceman Kagiso Rabada made the hosts work hard for their win.
Rabada, fellow paceman Junior Dala and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi took two wickets each.
From a comfortable 59-2 the hosts slipped to 88-7, but Chandimal kept his calm during his 33-ball stay that was laced with 3 fours and 1 six.
Chandimal, 28, was banned for two Tests and four ODIs after refusing to take the field against West Indies following ball-tampering allegations in June.
“We will take a lot of positives from this tour… I think coming here and after losing 2-0 in Test matches, we had to change our mindset and fortunate enough we put our best foot forward in the ODIs,” South Africa’s T20 skipper Jean-Paul Duminy said.
“We have a few weeks off to rethink and get better. End of September, we have a series against Zimbabwe, hopefully we do well there,” Duminy added.
Sri Lanka now host England for a full series in October-November while South Africa travel to Australia for three ODI matches and one T20 during the same period.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s batting legend Kumar Sangakkara said he had no intention of making a foray into politics after local media reported he was eyeing next year’s presidential elections.
Sangakkara’s comments came amid a media frenzy comparing him to Imran Khan, the cricketing great who is set to be sworn in as Pakistan’s prime minister on Saturday.
“I would like to put to rest speculation and rumour once and for all, confirming that I do not harbour any ambitions for political office,” Sangakkara, 40, said in a statement.
“I never have, and, with enormous certainty, I can say I never will.” Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition as well as the main opposition are yet to name their candidates for next year’s presidential election.
Several cricket legends in the country have successfully switched to politics.
Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga is a minister in the current government, while former skipper Sanath Jayasuriya served as a deputy minister after he retired from the international game.
Sangakkara quit Test cricket in August 2015 after aggregating 12,400 runs from 134 matches with 11 double centuries.
The former skipper, considered one of the all-time greats, steered his side to the final of the 2011 World Cup before losing to India.
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Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said Monday that has set his sights on a comeback with the national side after his five-year ban for match-fixing ended.
“I am feeling really nice as I was waiting for this day for the last five years. (I told myself) when August 13, 2018 came I would be available for national team again,” Ashraful told AFP from Britain.
“Over the last five years I never felt I wouldn’t be able to come back. I never lacked this confidence. I always felt I would come back,” he said.
Ashraful was fined and banned for eight years – cut on appeal to five – in 2014 for match and spot fixing during a T20 tournament in Bangladesh in 2013.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board partially lifted his ban in 2016, allowing him to play domestic first-class and List A cricket.
But he was still suspended from international and franchise-based Twenty20 cricket for another two years.
Ashraful, who turned 34 in July, showed a glimpse of his talent in domestic 50-over Dhaka Premier League competition last year when he scored five centuries in 13 matches to accumulate 665 runs at an average of 66.50.
Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday however that Ashraful must prove his form and fitness.
Ashraful, who played 61 Tests, 177 one-day internationals and 23 Twenty20 internationals, acknowledged he has a tough road ahead to revive his international career.
“Of course it will be tough to get a chance in the Bangladesh team,” he said.
“Still I think if I can perform. There is plenty of room for me to serve Bangladesh team. This is what I believe,” said Ashraful.
He said he believed he would face little problem in the dressing room if he was picked again, since he always maintained a good relationship with his former teammates.
Bangladesh last week completed a T20 series victory over the West Indies in Florida.
COLOMBO, Aug 14, (AFP): Scoreboard of the one-off Twenty20 International between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo on Tuesday:
- de Kock run out (Sandakan/de Silva) 20
- Amla c Shanaka b de Silva….. 0
- Hendricks b Dananjaya………. 19
- Duminy lbw b de Silva………. 3
- Klaasen c Mendis b Sandakan 18
- Miller c Chandimal b Dananjaya 14
- Phehlukwayo b Sandakan……. 0
- Rabada lbw b Sandakan……… 0
- Dala not out…………………….. 12
- Ngidi c Chandimal b Rajitha…. 4
- Shamsi c Chandimal b Udana. 0
Extras: (b1, lb5, w1, nb1)……….. 8
Total: (all out, 16.4 overs)………….l.l98
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Amla), 2-30 (de Kock), 3-42 (Hendricks), 4-57 (Duminy), 5-69 (Klaasen), 6-69 (Phehlukwayo), 7-73 (Rabada), 8-84 (Miller), 9-93 (Ngidi), 10-98 (Shamsi)
Bowling: Rajitha 3-0-27-1, De Silva 4-0-22-2 (nb1), Dananjaya 4-0-15-2 (w1), Sandakan 4-1-19-3, Udana 1.4-0-9-1
- Perera c Shamsi b Rabada….. 3
- Mendis lbw b Rabada…………. 1
- Chandimal not out…………….. 36
- de Silva c Phehlukwayo b Dala 31
- Mathews c Klaasen b Shamsi. 0
- Shanaka c Hendricks b Dala… 16
- Perera b Shamsi……………….. 0
- Dananjaya b Duminy………….. 2
- Udana not out…………………… 5
Extras: (nb2, w3)………………….. 5
Total: (7 wickets, 16 overs) 99
Did not bat: L. Sandakan, K. Rajitha
Fall of wickets: 1-4 (K. Perera), 2-6 (Mendis), 3-59 (de Silva), 4-63 (Mathews), 5-82 (Shanaka), 6-83 (T. Perera), 7-88 (Dananjaya)
Bowling: Rabada 4-0-24-2 (nb2), Ngidi 3-0-25-0, Shamsi 4-1-26-2 (w1), Dala 4-0-22-2 (w2), Duminy 1-0-2-1
Toss: South Africa
Result: Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets
Series: Sri Lanka win series 1-0
Umpires: Ranmore Martinesz (SRI), Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)
TV umpire: Lyndon Hannibal (SRI)
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)