Sri Lankans are skittled for just 43

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The Independent Online

Sri Lanka crumbled to a humiliating 258-run defeat against South Africa in the first one-day international at Paarl yesterday.

The tourists, in reply to South Africa's imposing 50-over score of 301 for 8, were dismissed for just 43. At one stage Sri Lanka looked in serious danger of posting a new lowest total in one-day international history. Although they avoided that embarrassment, they were no match for a South Africa attack which saw Morne Morkel take 4 for 10 and Lonwabo Tsotsobe 3 for 19.

Meanwhile, senior batsman Rahul Dravid has refuted suggestions of a rift in India's struggling Test team and says he is working hard to correct flaws in his defence ahead of the third Test against Australia in Perth tomorrow. India trail in the four-match series 2-0. Their build-up to this Test has been overshadowed by Australian media reports of a rift, while the tourists have also come under fire from the Indian media for enjoying a karting session.

"When you lose 2-0, that's part and parcel of the game," said Dravid, who celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday. "Suddenly everything is wrong. There's absolutely no truth to those [reports about a rift]... the spirit in the team is really good."