It took a 3-0 deficit in the ODIs for Sri Lanka to completely come out of their shells and reveal their true colors that had troubled the Proteas during the Tests. The islanders have wrapped up the full-fledged series against South Africa on a high after winning the one-off T20I, in Colombo.
Winning the toss, the Proteas decided to bat first, but the decision backfired as their batters failed to decode the spin mystery of the Lankan side. Angelo Mathews bowled out all three of his spinners by the 14th over of South Africa’s innings and his plan worked greatly as the trio of Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, and Lakshan Sandakan accounted for seven wickets, while conceding just 56 runs in 12 overs.
The Duminy-led men were all-out for their lowest total (98) in T20Is with four of their batsmen reaching double-digits. Quinton de Kock top-scored for his side with 20 runs before joining the procession back to the pavilion.
In reply, Sri Lanka too had difficulties facing the visiting side’s bowling line-up. However, Dinesh Chandimal exhibited great temperament in his international return following his post West Indies series suspensions. He stood firm against the opponents, stitching a crucial 53-run partnership in the third wicket with Dhananjaya, who contributed 31 runs before getting dismissed.
Chandimal kept the score ticking while Sri Lanka continually lost wickets. He remained unbeaten on 36 as the hosts won the match by 3 wickets with four overs to spare.
The late comeback of Sri Lanka in the limited-overs leg of South Africa’s tour will give them a big boost ahead of the Asia Cup, starting from September 15. They will face Bangladesh in the tournament-opener before taking on Afghanistan in another group clash on September 17.
RSA – 98/10 (16.4 Overs)
SL - 99/7 (16 Overs)
Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets