Tour to South Africa ends with 8th straight loss
03/03/2019 1 view
Sri Lanka have lost the 3rd T20I of the series as they fell short at a massive 198 target set by South Africa batting unit at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. Sri Lanka innings was interrupted by the rain for more than half an hour. They were given the revised target of 183 runs from 17 overs to chase but couldn’t do the needful as their middle order collapsed again for the umpteenth time of the tour.
Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga won the toss and elected to bowl first to avoid their 8th straight loss in the series. Interestingly, Sri Lanka has decided to use one extra bowling option at the expense of a batsman. Kusal Mendis who had a modest 2 T20Is so far will have to sit out for Suranga Lakmal.
South Africa has made two changes to their side too. Last game’s half centurion Rassie van der Dussen and veteran pacer Dale Steyn will sit in the bench for all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and right arm fast bowler Junior Dala.
South African openers were casual in the powerplay as they easily made 37 runs for the loss of one wicket in first six overs. Aiden Markram was caught in the mid-on by Malinga off Suranga Lakaml’s bowling for 15.
All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius was promoted up at the order to accompany Reeza Hendricks and duo enjoyed batting together, taking busy singles while cutting the lose deliveries for maximum.
Sri Lankan players’ ground fielding and catching was really scrappy and it helped South African batting course very well. They have shown wet hands as the ball usually found a way out of their hands more often.
Pair added 90 runs 9.1 overs, punishing Sri Lanka spinners to every corner of the ground before Reeza Hendricks was bowled by a full delivery off Jeffrey Vandersay’s bowling when he was looking ominous at 66 and that was the only wicket Sri Lanka could produce for rest of the innings.
Dwaine Pretorius launched a gigantic innings from thereon, as he stole 3 sixes and 7 fours from 42 balls to compile a blazing 77 runs to take South Africa to 198. Captain JP Duminy added the finishing touches with a 14 ball 34 runs.
Chasing a massive 199, Sri Lanka have promoted Dhananjaya de Silva to open with Niroshan Dickwella and it had almost worked!
Pair produced a blistering start for Sri Lanka innings adding 42 runs in 4.1 overs. Niroshan Dickwella was the main contributor as he shuffled around the crease to find his usual grove.
Dickwella made a useful 38 runs off 22 balls before miscuing a short ball from Andile Phehlukwayo. After his dismissal Sri Lanka middle order collapsed spectacularly. Avishka Fernando, Kamindu Mendis and Anjelo Perera failed to bother scorers much as Sri Lanka went from 42-0 to 79-5 in just 4.3 overs.
Thisara Perera had to pay the price with his wicket trying to steal a single off Hendricks’s arms. Sri Lanka were reduced to 111/6 in the 11.1 overs before rain started to pour down from the heavens.
The play was halted for more than half an hour and Sri Lanka were given a revised target of 183 in 17 overs. So Sri Lanka (or basically the only recognized batsman Isuru Udana) had to get 72 runs from 35 balls.
But the target seemed to be too much for fighting Udana as he was dismissed for 36 runs off 23 balls trying to clear the long-off against David Miller’s athletic hands.
Sri Lanka were qulickly wrapped up after Udana’s dismissal as they were all out for 137 granting hosts 45 runs win in the last T20I.
The hero with the bat Dwaine Pretorius was awarded the Player of the Match for his performances with the bat and the ball too. Reeza Hendricks was given the Player of the series award for his 2 fifties in 3 T20Is.
40-day long tour of South Africa has concluded for the visitors after having been out of home since December last year. Their next international assignment will be against Scotland before they start their World Cup campaign.