South African coach Mark Boucher
Proteas coach Mark Boucher was frustrated by South Africa’s top-order collapse in their 78-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the final ODI.The Proteas lost four wickets in 10 overs and were eventually bowled out for 125.Boucher says, however, that there are positives to take out of the ODI series defeat.Proteas head coach Mark Boucher admitted that South Africa’s top-order collapse cost them the game as they lost the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.
Chasing a reasonable 204 to win, the Proteas fell 78 runs short as they were bowled out for 125 in 30 overs.
South Africa was immediately put on the back foot by the superb Sri Lankan bowling attack, losing four wickets in the first 10 overs with only 45 runs on the scoreboard.
Making his ODI debut, spinner Maheesh Theekshana returned figures of 4-37 as Sri Lanka went on to take the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Boucher says that the Sri Lankans bowled smartly but wasn’t too pleased by the batting collapse.
“We didn’t start off well that was the turning stage of the game, which is quite frustrating. In our top order, everyone has had a good knock in the last two games so they’re in good form,” Boucher told reporters on Tuesday.
“To lose three wickets in the first five overs and four in the first 10, you’re always going to be on the back foot. Although we kept the rate the entire time, we just lost wickets.
“I think they did bowl well and smartly. Their seamers bowled with good energy and in good areas. You’ve got to give credit when it’s due and they started off their innings well and put us on the back foot straight away.”
In the last 10 games, South Africa played at R.Premadasa Stadium, the tourists have won only three times.
Boucher said that it’s always tough to win in the sub-continent but believes that the Proteas had opportunities to win throughout the series.
“We’re playing in some tough conditions, the history of South Africa in Sri Lanka, especially at R.Premadasa Stadium is not very good,” said the former Proteas wicket-keeper batsman.
“We were given the opportunity to win the series in the first game, we were really in control in the run chase and we were unfortunate to lose Temba the way we did.
“In order to win a series in the sub-continent, you have to cash in when the opportunity arises so I think that’s our biggest regret – that we didn’t finish off the first game.”
Boucher believes there are many positives to take out of the ODI series defeat after the Proteas spinners restricted Sri Lanka to 203/9.
“We’ve come here and yes, we’re missing some senior batsmen, but we put up a good fight,” said Boucher.
“[There are] a lot of positives to take out of the series, yes, it’s not fun losing, but our focus is now onto the T20s and the T20 World Cup. [It’s] not nice to lose, but there are positives. I think it’s more just [our batting] upfront that cost us…”
The two teams will now play three T20s starting on Friday (16:30 SA time) at the same venue.