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SL vs SA, 3rd ODI, 2021

SL vs SA, 3rd ODI, 2021

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The balance of South Africa’s side came into focus with results suggesting they were a batter short

South Africa’s narrow defeat by 14 runs in the first ODI, rather than their loss by 78 runs in the third game, is to blame for their failure to win the one-day series in Sri Lanka, according to coach Mark Boucher. His team, who have not won an ODI series since beating Australia at home last March, now lie ninth on the World Cup Super League points table and their journey to the 2023 World Cup could become tricky, with series against India, Australia and England to come.
South Africa were 155 for 1, chasing 301 in the first-match, when Temba Bavuma had to retire hurt with what turned out to be a broken thumb. They reached 209 for 2 before losing 5 wickets for 80 in the last 10.3 overs. Had they reached the target, South Africa would have pulled off the highest successful chase in a day-night match in Sri Lanka.

“If I look at the series as a whole, we were given an opportunity to win the series in the first game. We were in control of that run chase and we slipped up in maybe a period of five overs. We were unfortunate to lose Temba when we did. In order to win a series in the subcontinent, you’ve got to cash in when that opportunity arises,” Boucher said. “That’s the biggest regret, that we didn’t finish off that first game.”

Fast-forward to the third ODI, and they were in danger of being bowled out for their lowest total in an ODI in Asia (which is 110) when they teetered on 54 for 6 but managed to get to 125, well short of the 204-run target. After a strong bowling performance in the series decider, South Africa lost their top four in the first 10 overs, which Boucher called the “turning point” of the game.

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