‘We will come up with better plans in the next game’ – Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka after T20I series defeat against South Africa

Written by Sumit Seth

Riding on super bowling performance by Aiden Markram followed by a brilliant fifty by opening batsman Quinton de Kock, South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the second T20I of the three-match series here at the R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, on Sunday. With this win South Africa clinched the T20I series 2-0 with a game to go.

Reflecting on the defeat, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said that batting in middle period has been a concern for long period.

“We were targeting 140-150 and we knew it will turn later, it won’t be easy in later part of the game. The batsmen should concentrate more on the game, we were not able to capitalize on the start and the South African bowlers change their pace, they bowled beautifully. Our batsmen needed to rotate the strike more. We have to change our approach, batting in middle period has been a concern for long period, consistently for 2-3 years. It’s a major part of the concern. We will come up with better plans in the next game. It’s our approach and mindset that needs to change in the T20s, we should have a strong mindset and we need to have a belief in the team”

Chasing a below part total of 104, Proteas got off to a brilliant start with both their openers dominating Sri Lankan bowlers. de Kock scored 58 runs in 48 balls with the help of seven boundaries. He along with Reeza Hendricks stitched an important opening partnership at the top and made sure that Sri Lankan spinners do not get to exploit the spin-friendly pitch at Premadasa. However, Wanindu Hasaranga removed Hendricks in the 9th over of the innings on 18.

After the wicket, Aiden Markram joined de Kock in the middle and both ensured that South Africa close the match with ease.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first. However, their decision backfired as they lost their experienced opener Dinesh Chandimal in the second over of the match. Kusal Perera was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka as he scored 30 runs in just 25 balls with the help of 2 boundaries and 1 maximum. Bhanuka Rajapaksa 20 runs in 13 balls but was removed by Markram.

Markram picked three crucial wickets of Kusal Perera, B Rajapaksa and Charith Asalanka while Tabraiz Shamsi also picked three wickets. All-rounder Bjorn Fortuin chipped in with 2 wickets. Keshav Maharaj and Anrich Nortje took one wicket each.

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Sumit Seth