Sri Lanka defeated South Africa by 3 runs (D/L) in the rain-shortened, thrilling fourth ODI match in Pallekelle on Wednesday.
Reporting from Pallekelle
The two Pereras – Thisara and Kusal along with Dasun Shanaka smashed whirlwind half-centuries to propel Sri Lanka to 306/7 in 39 overs and then the hosts held their nerve to defend a revised target of 191 to restrict the Proteas to 187 for 9 from their allotted 21 overs.
With this win, Sri Lanka ended a 11-match losing streak against South Africa but the visitors lead lead the five-match series, 3-1 with the fifth and final game scheduled to be played in Colombo on 12th August.
Senior fast bowler Suranga Lakmal defended eight runs off the last over as Proteas lost their way in the final overs. South Africa needed only 61 off 8 overs with David Miller, who was the only recognized batsman in the middle but regular wickets kept Sri Lanka in the hunt before Lakmal clean bowled Miller in the final over.
Quinton De Kock and Hashim Amla started off the initial target of 308 runs in 39 overs blazingly scoring 21 runs in 2 overs before the heaviest downpour brought the game down to a 21-over match.
Lakmal got the first breakthrough after the interruption when he dismantled the stumps with a full toss as De Kock missed a straight one. Number three Reeza Hendricks was then sent back by Shanaka when Dhananjaya De Silva held onto a catch at short extra-cover on the second attempt.
With the wet ball, the hosts struggled to restrain Amla and Duminy as they added 67 runs in 29 balls to trim down the target but Amla’s wicket came against the run of play after he had played scored a 23-ball 40.
Lakmal dropped a sitter to give a lifeline to Duminy who looked threatening but a direct-hit by Dasun Shanaka in the 13th over gave another change for the hosts to come back into the game.
Three balls before Duminy’s dismissal, Heinrich Klassen holed out to Mathews at extra-cover as the skipper took a sharp, low catch off Dhananjaya De Silva.
Earlier in the game, the two Lankan openers, Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga provided a stable foundation adding 61 before the former threw it away in the 12th over when a top-edge lobbed to De Kock off Duminy.
Tharanga stroked four boundaries and smashed one six over the long-off boundary, before being cleaned up by Wiaan Mulder with a delivery which jagged back to rattle the stumps.
Keshav Maharaj trapped Kusal Mendis plumb in front as umpire Lyndon Hannibal on his first ODI as an on-field official ruled him out as the hosts were 3 down to 100 in the 16th over.
Kusal Perera and skipper Angelo Mathews on his 200th ODI added 59 runs for the 4th wicket before De Kock held onto a blinder off Ngidi to dismiss the home team’s captain.
Dhananjaya De Silva, the lone warrior from the 3rd match made only 10 before holing out to deep extra-cover.
Kusal Perera became Duminy’s second victim when Miller took a superb diving catch which brought Thisara and Dasun to the middle in the 28th over.
Shanaka, who played an ODI after two years was the most successful out of the two power hitters, reaching his maiden ODI fifty in the process of smashing 5 sixes and 4 fours during his excellent 34-ball 65 while Thisara remained unbeaten on 51 off 45 as the pair smashed 58 runs in the last 4 overs to take Sri Lanka over the 300-run mark. The pair added 109 runs in 68 balls which ultimately proved to be the difference between two teams.
SL won by 3 runs (DLS)
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|N Dickwella||c De Kock b JP Duminy||34||35|
|U Tharanga||b W Mulder||36||41|
|K Mendis||lbw by K Maharaj||14||13|
|K Janith||c D Miller b JP Duminy||51||32|
|A Mathews||c De Kock b L Ngidi||22||23|
|D De Silva||c J Dala b L Ngidi||10||10|
|NLTC Perera||not out||51||45|
|MD Shanaka||c W Mulder b A Phehlukwayo||65||34|
|A Dananjaya||not out||1||2|
South Africa’s Innings
|Quinton de Kock||b S Lakmal||23||13|
|H Amla||c L Kumara b A Dananjaya||40||23|
|R Hendricks||c D De Silva b D Shanaka||2||3|
|JP Duminy||(runout) D Shanaka||38||23|
|H Klaasen||c A Mathews b D De Silva||17||13|
|D Miller||b S Lakmal||21||17|
|A Phehlukwayo||b T Perera||9||10|
|W Mulder||c D De Silva b S Lakmal||4||7|
|KA Maharaj||b T Perera||17||14|
|J Dala||not out||3||3|
|L Ngidi||not out||1||1|
|D De Silva||4||0||26||1||6.50|