Sri Lanka struggle against Parnell, Tahir
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: Wayne Parnell and Imran Tahir took three wickets each as Sri Lanka struggled to 181 all out in the first one-day international against South Africa at St George´s Park on Saturday.
Kusal Mendis was the only batsman to shine for the tourists, making 62 off 94 balls with ten fours.
Left-arm seamer Parnell took three for 48 while leg-spinner Tahir showed superb control in a strong westerly wind, taking three for 26.
Parnell plunged Sri Lanka into early trouble by taking wickets with the first balls of the second and fourth overs after South African captain AB de Villiers won the toss and decided to bowl.
Niroshan Dickwella, man of the series in Sri Lanka´s Twenty20 triumph, made only one before he went back on his stumps and was leg before wicket to Parnell.
New cap Sandun Weerakkody slashed at the first ball of Parnell´s next over and was caught at first slip for five.
Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal put on 72 for the third wicket in a partnership dominated by Mendis before Tahir ripped the heart out of the batting by taking three wickets in four overs.
Chandimal found scoring difficult on a slow pitch and made only 22 off 56 balls before he was bowled by a googly from Tahir.
Mendis, who had made only 87 runs in seven innings since hitting 58 in the second innings of the first Test at the same venue last month, hit ten boundaries in his 94-ball innings.
His first seven scoring strokes were fours, mainly struck fluently on the off side.
He was given out leg before to Tahir by umpire Richard Kettleborough when he had 46, surviving on review because of a bottom edge, but could not escape a second lbw decision when he was squared up by Tahir, who then had Sri Lankan captain Upul Tharanga caught at cover.