Mon, Jan 30, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Bowlers Parnell, Tahir star as Proteas cruise to victory


South Africa spinner Imran Tahir, center, bowls against Sri Lanka in the first one-day international at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir took three wickets each to set up a comfortable eight-wicket win for the hosts in the first one-day international at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on Saturday.

Sri Lanka struggled to 181 all out, with Kusal Mendis the only batsman to shine for the tourists, making 62.

Left-arm seamer Parnell took 3-48, while leg-spinner Tahir showed superb control in a strong westerly wind, taking 3-26.

“Today was a little more special for me,” man-of-the-match Tahir said. “It is my wedding anniversary and this is absolutely for my wife. She asked me to take five wickets and win man of the match. I didn’t take five wickets, but I am very happy with my performance.”

Hashim Amla made 57 and Faf du Plessis 55 not out as South Africa cruised to victory with 15.4 overs to spare.

Parnell plunged Sri Lanka into early trouble by taking wickets with the first balls of the second and fourth overs after South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers won the toss and decided to bowl.

Although Dinesh Chandimal and Mendis put on 72 for the third wicket, Tahir ripped the heart out of the middle order, taking three wickets in four overs.

“It was a great bowling performance which put them on the back foot,” De Villiers said. “The new-ball bowlers bowled with a lot of intensity up front, which is exactly what we want from them, and Immy [Tahir] was a great impact bowler in the middle overs again.”

De Villiers praised Amla and Quinton de Kock (34), who put on 71 for South Africa’s first wicket.

“Although Sri Lanka’s total was well below par, it was still a tricky target on a pitch which was slow, two-paced and kept really low. It was more like Sri Lankan conditions and their spinners could have caused some problems, but Quinton and Hash got us off to a great start, which made it easy for Faf and me,” said De Villiers, who made 30 not out.

Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga was disappointed.

“Although Dinesh and Mendis had a partnership, we never picked up from losing early wickets,” he said. “It was a slow pitch, but our spinners did not control the ball much. We need to improve in batting and bowling.”

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