It was not the best start for Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy as they suffered a 96-run defeat against South Africa at The Oval. Moreover, there was a serious issue of over rate in Sri Lanka”s innings with the ball.
Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the first match against South Africa following an injury. Stand-in captain Upul Tharanga took over the reins for the opening game. Sri Lanka won the toss and as most teams do these days opted to bowl.
It was very lethargic effort by Sri Lanka with the ball as they took over 4 hours to complete 50 overs. The innings which started at 10:00 AMlocal time (3:00 PM IST) ended at 2 PM local time (7:00 PM IST). Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming lashed out at Sri Lanka”s bowling effort on Twitter calling it “ridiculous”.
A maximum time of 3 and half hours is allowed by ICC to complete an ODI innings. At this time Sri Lanka had just bowled 43.3 overs and took 37 extra minutes to complete the innings.
Under ICC”s code of conduct, the penalty for having more than 2 overs short is hefty. Skipper Tharanga faces a 2-ODI ban while rest of the team were charged 60% of their match fees. It means Upul Tharanga has been banned for remaining Sri Lanka”s matches against India (on 8 June) and Pakistan (on 12 June).
Angelo Mathews is likely to be back for next game, but Sri Lanka will miss Tharanga as a batsman as he has been in good touch off late. He raised his own battle. When the rest of the batting line up crumbled he played a gritty innings of 57 off 69 balls.
– by Atharva Apte