Coetzee, Stubbs guide South Africa ‘A’ to series win

South Africa ‘A’ tour of Sri Lanka 2023

South Africa ‘A’ tour of Sri Lanka 2023

South Africa ‘A’ beat Sri Lanka ‘A’ by 5 wickets in the 3rd Unofficial ODI to clinch the three-match series, 2-1.

South African skipper Tony de Zorzi won the toss and opted to field first in the series decider at Hambantota.

Sri Lanka had made three changes to their playing XI, bringing in Lahiru Udara, Isitha Wijesundara and Nimesh Vimukthi replacing Nuwanidu Fernando, Pramod Madushan and Lakshan Sandakan.

The decision turned out to be gold as the visitors managed to strike early in the innings, scalping 4 quick wickets for 7 runs inside the first 6 overs.

>>Fixtures for South Africa ‘A’ tour of Sri Lanka 2023<<

Middle-order batter Ashen Bandara and Sahan Arachchige managed to revive the innings, sharing a 74-run stand for the 5th wicket.

But after the dismissal of Bandara in the 21st over, Arachchige was left stranded in the middle as he received no support from the rest of the batters to take Sri Lanka to a competitive total.

Arachchige top scored for Sri Lanka with a 63-run knock as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 172 runs in 42.3 overs. The South African seamer Gerald Coetzee was brilliant with the ball for the visitors as he claimed 5 wickets for 48 runs.

In reply, South Africa also got off to a shaky start as left-arm paceman Dilshan Madushanka ripped through their top order, picking up 3 quick wickets for 48 runs inside the first 10 overs.

>>Madushka century, Madushanka 4-fer sets up series-leveling win<<

The left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage rubbed salt into South Africa’s wounds, scalping two more wickets and pushing the visitors onto the backfoot at 101/5.

However, in-form middle-order batter Tristan Stubbs then built a vital 74-run stand with Senuran Muthusamy to put South Africa over the line to taste the series victory.