Sri Lanka have been dealt with another blow with captain Upul Tharanga being banned for two matches for ‘serious over rate offence’ against South Africa, the ICC announced in a media release. Sri Lanka took more than four hours to bowl their 50 overs in their recent defeat to South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Sri Lanka were supposed to have bowled 50 overs in three and a half hours. But in that time, they had only bowled their 43rd over and by the time the last bowled of the 49th over was bowled, Sri Lanka had taken 37 extra minutes. Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming had said that the over rate was “ridiculous” through a tweet.
This now means that Tharanga will be out for Sri Lanka’s remaining group games against India and Pakistan. What is even more worrying for the team is that Tharanga was the man who scored the most runs in the match.
Apart from the ban on Tharanga, Sri Lanka players were also fined 10 per cent of their match fees for the first two overs and 20 per cent of their match fees for the additional overs their side failed to bowl in the allotted time, in accordance to the ICC Code of Conduct.
Hashim Amla’s century helped South Africa post a target of 300 for Sri Lanka to chase. The latter got off to a good start with Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella putting up an opening partnership of 69 runs. But Sri Lanka never got a grip on the match after Dickwella’s dismissal and were all-out for a total of 203 runs, handing South Africa a 96-run win. Imran Tahir picked up four wickets in the process.