In a rain-interrupted run chase, the Proteas overpowered Sri Lanka to win the third ODI at Kingsmead by 71 runs on the DLS method to claim a 3-0 series win. SIMON LEWIS reports.
In reply to South Africa’s brilliant score of 331-5 off their 50 overs, Sri Lanka started slowly and were 35-2 in the eighth over after early strikes by Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis pushed the score along to 75-2 after 16 overs, when the rain started to fall. After a frustrating period of watching the rain stopping and starting, the covers came off after 6pm, and play resumed with Sri Lanka set a challenging 118 runs off 48 balls with 8 wickets in hand.
Tabraiz Shamsi bowled a wide first ball after the break, but followed up the next ball with a wicket as Oshada Fernando (25 off 44 balls, 3×4) edged him behind, where Quinton de Kock held a good catch.
Mendis hit two sixes off Shamsi’s next over, but was caught and bowled by Imran Tahir after scoring 41 off 31 balls (4×4, 2×6, S/R 132.25). Tahir followed up the next over by removing Thisara Perera, caught superbly at deep extra cover by a diving Rassie van der Dussen, for 12.
Needing 75 to win off the last 12 balls, the contest was effectively over and the Sri Lankans blocked out the last two overs grimly, ending on 121-5 off their 24 overs.
Tahir ended with figures of 2-19 from his five overs (econ 3.80), with Rabada (1-18, econ 3.00), Ngidi (1-25, econ 5.00) and Shamsi (1-29, econ 7.25) also getting among the wickets.
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