The five-ODI series between South Africa and Sri Lanka surely hasn’t ended the way many had predicted. The Proteas sealed the series by registering three dominating wins in the first three games and were likely to complete a clean sweep over the hosts. However, the islanders came out of their shells in the last two matches and showed what they are capable of, by winning both games.
Although the last two ODIs were dead rubber clashes, it gave the Lankans an opportunity to restore their reputation at home. And they have done just that by ending the series with a dominant approach in the last game.
Winning the toss in the fifth and final match, Sri Lanka opted to bat first. Angelo Mathews justified the decision by playing an unbeaten 97-run innings Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, and Dhananjaya de Silva also came up with important contributions.
Sri Lanka set a target of 300 runs for South Africa, which appeared to require almost herculean effort against the clinical bowling display the hosts put up.
Akila Dananjaya singlehandedly threw the Proteas out of the contest by taking a six-wicket haul. He continuously bamboozled the batters with his variations and never let them completely come back into the fray after Suranga Lakmal removed Hashim Amla for a duck in the beginning.
Quinton de Kock was the only batsman from the South African camp, who tried to hold things together for the visitors, but never really got support from the other end. He, too, capitulated to be bowled out by Dananjaya for 54 runs and South Africa did not have any chance to even get close to the target.
Sri Lanka won the match by 178 runs and will now look to repeat their heroics in the one-off T20I against the Proteas, on Tuesday (August 14).
SL 299/8 (50 Overs)
RSA 121-all out (24.4 Overs)
Sri Lanka won by 178 runs