'Rash shots' cost Chandimal and company

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Skipper Dinesh Chandimal lamented a slew of shoddy shot selection and shaky stroke play, after Sri Lanka fell to a 12-run defeat – and one-nil series deficit – in Friday's opening Twenty20 International against South Africa in Colombo.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal lamented a slew of shoddy shot selection and shaky stroke play, after Sri Lanka fell to a 12-run defeat – and one-nil series deficit – in Friday's opening Twenty20 International against South Africa in Colombo.

The hosts had restricted the Proteas to a mere 115 for six, with spinner Sachithra Senanayake's three-wicket haul at the fore of the charge, but later slipped to an insufficient 103 for nine.

While the veteran Kumar Sangakkara orchestrated a standalone 59 not out, only one other batsman graduated to double figures, as visiting slow bowler JP Duminy capped figures of three for 18 and seamer Wayne Parnell landed the final blows with a telling double wicket-maiden.

"There was nothing in the pitch that warranted scores that low. The bowlers on both teams bowled very well, and for us, our batsmen we just didn't play to the situation. Early on we lost two or three wickets and then played some rash shots. We played some really good cricket in the first half, but we didn't have anyone to support Sangakkara. Not even one batsman stayed with him," rued Chandimal.

Chandimal confirmed that former captain Mahela Jayawardene was not injured, and was instead rested in order to afford opener Kusal Perera more experience. Perera, however, failed to oblige – instead falling for a pedestrian 11.

"We are giving the young players a chance in this series, because it's the best chance to test our young players looking ahead to the World Twenty20 in five months' time. Most probably, even in the next two matches, only two of our experienced players will take the field, so that we can give that place to a young player," he added.

The senior players can come into any match and perform, because they have that experience. We took that decision with the management and selection committee."

The second match will get underway at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. The same venue will host the third – and final – fixture on Tuesday.

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