The visiting Sri Lankan cricketers got the shock of the life when they were crushed to their lowest One Day International score of 43 runs in just 20.1 overs against South Africa. They should still be thankful to their lower order batsmen who did not let them down to the bottom of all time lowest score as they had lost eight wickets for 33 runs. The Proteas won the match in a commanding way by a huge margin of 258 runs.
South Africa thrashed 301 runs for the loss of eight wickets at the end of the allotted 50 overs. The first ODI of the five match series was played at Boland Park, Paarl, on January 11, 2012.
Morne Morkal was declared ‘Player of the match’ due to his destructive spell as he grabbed four wickets for mere 10 runs.
Earlier AB de Villiers won the toss in his first assignment as a Captain and elected to bat first. The decision did not pay off well as the first wicket was gone at nine runs when Graeme Smith left the crease. Jacques Kallis joined in with the promising Hashim Amla and both tried to consolidate the innings. The duo opened up in the seventh over and accumulated 15 runs which included boundary each with a bonus of five wides.
Amla dispatched two fours in the 19th over as the total went past 100 runs and Kallis completed his 85th ODI fifty in the next over. Amla achieved his fifty in the 23rd over and both of them dominated the bowling which had started looking ordinary. Sri Lanka got the second breakthrough when Kallis was run out while he could not respond the call from Amla.
Kallis scored 72 runs and the second wicket gave a valuable contribution of 144 runs when de Villiers walked in the centre. He started off in style and sent the ball rolling out of the fence twice in the 31st over and carried on with aggression at his will.
Amla smashed his hundred on the first ball of the 41st over but de Villiers was bowled on the third ball of the same over by Nuwan Kulasekara. The Captain departed after scoring quick fired 52 runs off 40 balls with seven fours and added 91 runs for the third wicket.
The third wicket was gone at 244 runs and Amla lost his wicket after scoring 112 runs as the home side posted 301 runs for the loss of eight wicket at the end of the 50th over, Lasith Malinga was the star performer for the visitors with five wickets and Kulasekara claimed one wicket.
Morne Morkal and Lonwabo Tsotsobe made the life difficult for the Sri Lankan batsmen and their first five wickets were shattered on just nine runs which was a big jolt for the visitors. The sixth batsman went back to the pavilion after the addition of four runs as none of the six top order batsmen was able to enter in the double figures. Kosala Kulasekara tried to defend but the wickets kept on falling like nine pins at the other end.
The visitors were quite near to book them in the ODI history as a lowest score holders once they had lost eight wickets at 33 runs. Kosala came to their rescue and took them away from the lowest ODI score of 35 runs scored by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka on April 25, 2004, at Harare.
Kosala was the top scorer with 19 runs, four batsmen could not open their accounts and rest did not enter in the double figures as Sri Lanka was bowled out at 43 runs.
Morkal and Tsotsobe broke the back of visitor’s batting by grasping four and three wickets respectively, Robin Peterson claimed two as Dale Steyn chipped in with one wicket.
South Africa won the match in an impressive manner by 258 runs which is the third largest victory margin in the history of the game. Ireland holds the record by the highest margin of 290 runs suffered from New Zealand followed by 272 runs victory by South Africa against Zimbabwe.