South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 78 runs in the third one-day international match in Pallekelle to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series on Sunday.
South Africa finally have seemed to come into terms with Sri Lankan conditions as…
Debutant Reeza Hendricks’ seamless century along with quick-fire half-centuries by Jean Paul Duminy, Hashim Amla and David Miller propelled South Africa to the highest score at the venue, 363/7 after being asked to bat first.
Sri Lanka in reply, scored at a rapid rate and maintained a run-rate above 6 per over yet lost wickets regularly until a stubborn, fighting 7th wicket stand between Dhananjaya De Silva and Akila Dhananjaya, worth 95 runs kept the hosts in the chase before they eventually were bowled out for 285 in the 46th over.
Hendricks became the 14th overall and the 3rd South African to score a century on ODI debut, also the fastest in terms of balls, paced his innings perfectly to reach 102 off 89 balls.
Duminy missed out on a century after blasting a sensational 70-ball 92 while Miller, scored a half-ton – 51 in 47 deliveries, his first in more than 12 months after Amla stroked his 36th half-century at the top of the order to punish wayward Sri Lankan bowling on a belter of a surface.
Earlier, on a placid batting track, opening batsman Quinton De Kock who had been starved of strike for most of the first few overs, miscued to covers off Lahiru Kumara, who had conceded three consecutive boundaries to Amla initially in the first three deliveries of the same over.
In the 17th over, Amla survived, when he reviewed after being given LBW on 59 but was cleaned up by Thisara Perera in the very next delivery, through the gate.
Perera kept pegging back the Proteas when skipper Faf Du Plessis failed to get enough wood and holed out to deep square leg off a back-of-a-length ball to restrict the visitors to 137 for 3 in the 23rd over.
Hendricks and Duminy added 78 runs for the 4th wicket at a steady rate to keep the scoreboard moving. 28-year old Hendricks, batting at number three had no trouble in facing the Lankan bowlers as he reached his century with two consecutive boundaries off Kumara but was undone by a ripper which jagged back off the good length to clip the bail in the very next ball.
Experienced JP Duminy and David Miller were stunning in the final 10 overs as the Proteas managed 114 runs in the 3rd powerplay. They added 103 runs in 70 deliveries for the 5th wicket before both Duminy and Miller holed out to deep mid-wicket off Perera, who ended up with 4 for 75.
Sri Lanka lost both the openers, Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Thranga, before the end of six overs as Lungi Ngidi dented any hopes of a record-breaking chase.
Kusal Perera, started off aggressively, smashing one above the inner-circle and went onto mid-on as he slammed 27 off 17 balls but was trapped LBW off Andile Phehlukwayo as the hosts lost three wickets inside the first powerplay.
Thisara Perera, who was promoted to number five failed to make an impact with the bat when the Proteas got their DRS call on the spot, as the replays indicated a faintest of edges down the leg side off Wiaan Mulder as the home team were 81 for 4 in the 12th over.
Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews added 45 runs for the 5th wicket to keep the scoreboard moving but the former could not keep a pull shot down the ground as he holed out to deep square leg to give Ngidi his 3rd wicket.
Skipper Mathews was struck plumb in front, while attempting a sweep to a fuller delivery by Tabraiz Shamsi as the crowds started to empty the stadium when the scores read 155/6 in the 27th over.
De Silva, who is playing an ODI game after a year, came to the crease at number seven and showcased his class, grit and the wide array of strokes to register his best score in 50-over cricket, 84 in 66 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes while Akila Dhananjaya played the second fiddle but it was too much for the tail enders as Sri Lanka lost their 11th straight ODI to the Proteas.
SA won by 78 runs
South Africa’s Innings
|H Amla||b T Perera||59||59|
|Quinton de Kock||c K Janith b L Kumara||2||8|
|R Hendricks||b L Kumara||102||89|
|Faf du Flessis||c S Lakmal b T Perera||10||14|
|JP Duminy||c D De Silva b T Perera||92||70|
|D Miller||c D De Silva b T Perera||51||47|
|A Phehlukwayo||not out||24||11|
|W Mulder||b A Dananjaya||2||3|
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|U Tharanga||c W Mulder b L Ngidi||19||17|
|N Dickwella||c Du Flessis b L Ngidi||10||10|
|K Janith||lbw by A Phehlukwayo||27||17|
|K Mendis||c W Mulder b L Ngidi||31||34|
|NLTC Perera||c De Kock b W Mulder||16||14|
|A Mathews||lbw by T Shamsi||32||42|
|D De Silva||c De Kock b A Phehlukwayo||84||66|
|A Dananjaya||c L Ngidi b A Phehlukwayo||37||42|
|S Lakmal||c & b L Ngidi||12||15|
|P Jayasuriya||b T Shamsi||0||2|
|L Kumara||not out||7||13|