Colombo: South Africa suffered a heavy 180-run defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the first one day international at R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday, but the team captain AB de Villiers said he is not going to panic and he still thinks the series is wide open. "I still believe that the series is wide open. I know how dangerous my team can be if we play well and do the basics well. I'm disappointed with the way we played, but I truly believe that we are going to bounce back in the next game," de Villiers said after his side's humiliating defeat.
South Africa bowlers were so wavered in the first game that they gave away 137 runs in the last ten overs of the Sri Lankan innings as Kumar Sangakkara took full toll, scoring 169 off 137 balls. Barring Morne Morkel, who was making a comeback to the team after a injury layoff, no other bowler made any major impact. Morkel finished with 2 for 34 in his ten overs. "We didn't bowl and bat as well as we could. I think if we had wickets in the end and batted out 50 overs, it would have been a close game," de Villiers said.
Chasing a mammoth 321, South Africa never looked like going for the target, losing too many wickets too frequently. "We lost wickets early on, which was a problem," he said adding, "We had too many big shots going for boundaries instead of working the ball around. We never had a pace and a pattern of play with the bat in hand which was a big problem. There were no partnerships and we kept losing wickets at the wrong time."
De Villiers also backed his decision of bowling first on a pitch which was tailor-made for batting first. "I still think it was the right decision," he said of the toss.