South Africa draws first blood

Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and spinner Tabraiz Shamsi picked up four wickets each to set up South Africa’s five-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in the first ODI here on Sunday.

Rabada, who took four for 41, inflicted the early damage while left-arm spinner Shamsi provided the late breakthroughs with his four for 33 as South Africa bundled out Sri Lanka for 193 under 35 overs after the host opted to bat.

Off-spinner Akila Dananjaya picked up two early wickets to give Sri Lanka hope but the touring side, which was mauled 2-0 in the Test series, recovered to reach the target in 31 overs and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Opener Quinton de Kock and captain Faf du Plessis hit identical 47s to steady South Africa’s chase during a 86-run stand for the third wicket before the wicketkeeper-batsman became Dananjaya’s third victim. It was left to J-P. Duminy to take South Africa home with an unbeaten 53 off 32 balls.

Earlier, Kusal Perera hit a 72-ball 81 to provide respectability to Sri Lanka’s innings after it was reduced to 36 for five.

Kusal and Thisara Perera, who made 49, added 92 for the sixth wicket during a counter-attacking partnership before Shamsi separated them by dismissing the latter, caught behind by de Kock.

Shamsi also dismissed Kusal, who was out caught trying to play a reverse sweep, after an entertaining innings that included 11 fours and a six.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.

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