An incredible bowling effort was followed up by a sensible knock from comeback hero Dinesh Chandimal who steered Sri Lanka to a narrow 3 wicket win over South Africa in the only T20 at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
Thus, the hosts finished the tour with a clear advantage despite losing three One Day Internationals in Dambulla and the Pallekale Stadium in Kandy.
Match Report Sri Lanka vs South Africa
JP Duminy called tails and for the first time in a while, the Proteas won the toss and elected to bat first in front of a sell-out crowd at Kettarama. Quinton De Kock was off to yet another solid start but Amla gave his wicket away for a duck in the 2nd over of the game.
Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klassen got starts but failed to build a partnership and consequently, the Proteas tail was exposed with more than 9 overs to play.
Lakshan Sandakan, Dhananjaya De Silva, and Akila Dhananjaya dismissed South Africa for 98 in the 17th over of the innings. Sandakan was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 19 in his allocated 4 over spell.
To add to South Africa’s misery, it was their lowest ever Twenty20 score in international cricket.
Was it a walk in the park for Sri Lanka? NO. Kagiso Rabada had both openers back in the dugout in the very first over of the chase. A couple of elegant strokes from Dhananjaya De Silva took Sri Lanka past 50 but his wicket led to another as T20 skipper Angelo Mathews fell for a duck.
Dasun Shanaka and Dinesh Chandima had things under control but the Proteas spinners had other plans. Shamsi and JP Duminy struck late and Chandimal was left stranded in the non-striker’s end. Isuru Udana kept his wicket intact whilst the ever so sensible Dinesh Chandimal took Sri Lanka to a 3 wicket win.
“I just played like Test cricket. We all know South Africa are good, it was a good fight from them. Dananjaya’s spell was the turning point. It’s really good to come back after ODI series. The boys showed a lot of character and attitude and finish it on a winning note. It’s good for the Asia Cup,” said Chandi at the post-match presentation.
Dhananjaya De Silva was adjudged player of the match for his all-round contribution.
Sri Lanka’s next assignment is the all-important Asia Cup at the UAE from the 15th to the 30th of September 2018.
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