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Yuvraj, Harbhajan miss out on ODI Squad for Australia; Tendulkar, Irfan & Zaheer all in

The Indian cricket team for the 2 T20 internationals and the tri nation series involving hosts Australia and World Cup runners up Sri Lanka was announced on Sunday night after the conclusion of the third test between India and Australia in Perth, earlier in the day.

There were a few surprise exclusions with India's World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh missing out despite claiming to be fit for the series. He was excluded from the side citing concerns over the extent of his recovery from the non-malignant tumor he was diagnosed with earlier in the year. The 22 year old  Ajinka Rahane, who impressed in ODI's against the West Indies earlier in the year also didn't make the cut while injured pacer Varun Aaron too was deemed unfit to be part of this series. The bowling attack though will be bolstered by the return of swing bowler Praveen Kumar, who first made his mark in Australia 4 years ago. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh continues to be ignored by the selectors, despite the indifferent form of young R Ashwin thus far on the tour.


Proteas adapt to take 2-0 series lead

The Proteas' squad learned important lessons in patience and handling pressure as they chased down a par victory target to beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets in the second Sunfoil ODI at Buffalo Park on Saturday. They now lead the five-match series 2-0 with the opportunity to clinch it in the third match at Chevrolet Park on Tuesday (early start).

They also showed their ability to adapt to changing conditions after they had won the toss and decided to bowl first. Conditions were heavily overcast and humid throughout the day with occasional sprinklings of light rain and this no doubt influenced AB de Villiers to take the decision he did. It probably also explained why he gave Dale Steyn first crack with the new ball.


South Africa seal 5-wicket win to go 2-0 up in Sunfoil Series

jp_duminyAn outstanding all round performance from South Africa saw them claim a 5 wicket victory in East London to go 2-0 up in the Sunfoil ODI series. After having put Sri Lanka in to bat, the Proteas bowlers restricted the Lankans to a competitive 236-6 in 50 overs. Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Morne Morkel picked up two wickets each, and most of the Proteas bowlers produced very economical spells. An 84 run worth partnership between Upul Tharanga (66) and Dinesh Chandimal enabled Sri Lanka, who were in early strife at 21-2 to post a respectable total. Chandimal's gritty, undefeated 92 formed the cornerstone of the Lankan innings. Chasing 237, The the openers Hashim Amla(55) and Graeme Smith(28) bestowed the innings with a breezy 76 run opening stand. The key to South Africa's success was their ability to construct partnerships. Jacques Kallis (37) and JP Duminy (66*) eliminated the fear of a middle order meltdown. Eventually, the calm and composed Duminy steered the hosts past the finish line with 8 balls to spare. Dhammika Prasad was the most successful bowler for the Lankans with figures of 3-46.

Overcast weather conditions welcomed South Africa and Sri Lanka, who locked horns in the 2nd ODI of the Sunfoil series, on a good batting track at Buffalo Park in East London. A mild drizzle delayed delayed the start of play by half an hour.


Rampant Proteas give AB a runaway start

AB de Villiers could not have hoped for a more successful captaincy debut than the 258 runs winning margin his Proteas' Castle Lager squad achieved in the opening Sunfoil ODI at Boland Park on Wednesday evening. It was the third biggest winning margin in the history of ODI cricket in terms of runs, bettered only by the Proteas' victory by 272 runs over Zimbabwe at Sahara Park Willowmoore last season and New Zealand's victory over Ireland by 290 runs at Aberdeen in 2008.

The Proteas set up a huge total of 301/8 – their fourth highest against Sri Lanka – highlighted by Hashim Amla's ninth ODI century and then destroyed Sri Lanka for the joint fourth lowest total in the history of the game of 43 all out. The innings only lasted 20.1 overs which made it the 15th shortest ODI innings in terms of balls bowled.


Sri Lanka routed by 258 runs in 1st ODI at Paarl

ab_de_villiersBoland Park at Paarl was hosting its first ODI game in 9 years, and witnessed a bizarre contest dominated by South Africa from start to finish as they hammered the visiting Lankans by a huge margin of 258 runs to gain a 1-0 lead in the Sunfoil ODI series. After winning the toss and batting first on a beautiful batting deck, South Africa posted a total of 301-8 in their quota of 50 overs. A 144 run stand for the 2nd wicket between Hashim Amla (112) and Jacques Kallis (72) provided the perfect platform for the hosts to rake in a 300 plus score. The South African commander, AB de Villiers celebrated his debut as skipper by scoring a thrill-a-minute fifty and taking 2 catches. Lasith Malinga (5-53) was instrumental in pegging the Proteas back in the death overs with a 330+ score looking very much on the cards. In pursuit of 302, Dilshan's men crashed to 43 all out, their lowest in ODI cricket. Shockingly only, Kosala Kulesekara (19) got into double figures. The chief destroyer was Morne Morkel (4-10) who sliced through the Lankan batting unit. Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up 3 wickets while tweaker Robin Petersen chipped in with 2.

Sri Lanka, whose cricketing fortunes has suffered a sharp dip since their run to the Final of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, collided with hosts South Africa in the opener of the 5 match ODI series on a hot, sultry afternoon at Boland Park in Paarl. A subcontinental like wicket lit up the eyes of the Lankan lions, who had the amazing advantage of playing more matches at Paarl than the home team.The flip of the coin went South Africa's way and they elected to bat first without any second thoughts.


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