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Sri Lanka leads

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

COLOMBO - Rangana Herath took two crucial wickets as Sri Lanka defeated South Africa in the rain-affected one-dayer in Colombo on Tuesday, taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

South Africa, set a revised target of 176 from 29 overs, were 104-5 in 21 overs when a heavy downpour at the Premadasa stadium forced the match to be called off.

With 121-5 being the par score at that stage, the Proteas lost by 17 runs to suffer their second defeat in the series following the 180-run loss in the first match last Saturday.

Left-arm spinner Herath trapped opener Alviro Petersen leg-before for 24, and had Faf du Plessis caught behind to reduce the Proteas to 69-5 by the 14th over.

David Miller (22 not out) and Ryan McLaren (14 not out) put on 35 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket before rain ruined their hopes of pulling off an upset.

South Africa were dealt another blow as star batsman Hashim Amla injured his left knee while fielding and was rushed to hospital for precautionary scans.

Amla, who had been sidelined for the first match due to a strained back, was unable to bat and faces a race against time to be fit for the third match in Pallekele on Friday.

South African captain AB de Villiers vowed his team will fight back in the series.

"It's not over yet, there are three big games coming for us now," he said. "This was a much better game for us than the previous one. The bowling did okay, but the batting let us down.

"Hopefully we will get Amla ready for the next match. The injury is not too serious."

Earlier, fast bowler Morne Morkel claimed 3-34 as the hosts were restricted to 223-9 in 49.2 overs after they won the toss and elected to bat.

Sri Lanka's stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal and opener Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with 43 apiece before heavy rain ended the innings with four deliveries still to be bowled.

South Africa regrouped after the heavy defeat in the first match to keep the free-stroking Sri Lankan batsmen in check on the slow wicket.





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