After 11 losses in a trot against South Africa, Sri Lanka bounced back to record a thrilling 3 run win in the 4th One Day International at the Pallekale International Stadium last evening. Dasun Shanaka, playing only his first game in the tournament contributed with a much-needed all-round performance for the host nation.
Rain interruptions in the first innings lessened the number of overs to 39 and it was further trimmed down to 21 overs when South Africa came on to bat in the 2nd innings.
Thisara, Dasun goes on overdrive
The hosts were put on to bat first and unlike in the first three ODIs, they were off to a rather cautious start. Both Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella started accelerating after getting into double figures.
Kusal Janith Perera, with 51 in just 32 smashed 6 fours and 2 sixes with Mathews’ support in the middle overs. However, the home side was soon 6 down for 195 and in fear of being bowled out again. But the allrounders Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka with a hundred run partnership took the score to 306 in 39 overs.
South Africa, in return, got off to a blistering start and brought it down to run a ball after rain interruptions reduced the target to 191 in 21 overs. At 3 for 108 in just the 9th over, they were well on track but a couple of superhuman efforts on the field had them 8 down for 183.
With hard-hitting batsman Miller on the crease, the Proteas were still favorites and they only needed 8 in 6 balls. Suranga Lakmal had Miller back in the dugout and Ngidi could only take South Africa as far as 187, a mere 3 runs short of a win.
“We weren’t clinical in the field but we pulled through”
“Very important win to be honest. Proud of the way we fought today. The batsmen put up a decent score. The two allrounders finished off well. But it’s never easy. DLS plays into the hands of the chasing team. Fantastic bowling. We weren’t clinical in the field but we pulled through. We’ll have a word about that, but we’ll have a drink tonight. Fantastic effort from the bowlers. Credit to the groundstaff as well, the way they worked to get us on the field in time,” said the Sri Lankan skipper at the post-match presentation.
Although Sri Lanka already lost the series, the team will look to continue the winning momentum after the hard-fought victory. The 5th and final One Day International will be played in Colombo on the 12th of August.
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