Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal were right on the money in the first 8 overs they shared between them. They restricted the two maestros Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla to just 27 runs. Malinga who was playing his first ODI since November 2015 was back to his old self minus the wickets: bowled 4 overs for 14 runs. Lakmal bowled equally well, 4 overs for 17 runs and almost had Quinton De Kock’s wicket in the 4th over when a close lbw call was reviewed only to be upheld. South Africa only managed 32 runs in the first power play.
Faf du Plessis was dropped by Lasith Malinga on the first ball of the 17th over on the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep. Faf was batting on 8 runs when he top-edged a short delivery, the ball went to Malinga who misjudged the catch at the long leg boundary; he did get his hands on the ball after a desperate dive at the last moment but the ball eventually slipped through his fingers. Faf du Plessis went onto score 75(70). This catch possibly cost Sri Lanka the match.
AB de Villiers had the perfect platform to launch into big shots and he got out trying just that. He came out to bat in the 34th over when the score was 189 for 2. de Villiers only managed to score 4 runs and this dented Proteas chances of posting a 300 plus score.
Niroshan Dickwella is known for his big hitting and he did not shy away from displaying his batting talent at The Oval. In the seventh over of the Sri Lankan innings, Dickwella first whipped the ball over midwicket for a 90m six and then hit Rabada for a four over square leg. Rabada dropped Dickwella on his own bowling in the 5th over when he was batting on 21.
Just when the Sri Lankan openers were getting comfortable at the crease, Morne Morkel struck gold. He removed the dangerous Niroshan Dickwella in the 9th over who had scored 41 runs and was involved in a threatening 69 run partnership with the captain Upul Tharanga.