Colombo: It's tough to erase a 2-0 deficit to win a five-match series, but South Africa will have to do exactly that after losing the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, for which visiting skipper AB de Villiers held poor batting responsible.
Sri Lanka ended up winning the rain-affected match by 17 runs (D/L). South Africa were set a revised target of 176 in 29 overs after rain stopped play with the hosts, put in to bat, 223 for 9 in 49.2 overs. South Africa were 104 for 5 after 21 overs when rain came again to prevent any further play and the visitors were found 17 runs short of the D/L par score.
"The batting let us down," said de Villiers. "The bowlers did a great job. We lost too many wickets at the start. We were under control and there was no need to try anything extravagant."
South Africa's hopes of coming back into the series suffered another blow when Hashim Amla got injured and had to be helped off the field. He did not come out to bat, which puts a serious doubt over his participation in the third ODI. "I hope Amla is not seriously injured. We have to assess his situation and take a call," the South African captain added.
Dinesh Chandimal led Sri Lanka in the first two ODIs in the absence of Angelo Mathews and was named Man of the Match on Tuesday for his crucial knock of 43 on a testing track. "It was a crucial knock. The wicket was not easy to bat on. I adjusted to the wicket and I played my normal game. We played on the same pitch in the previous game and we were confident," he said.
South Africa lost their 11th consecutive ODI against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and will try to stop the slide in the third ODI on Friday.