An excellent spin-bowling performance set up a simple three-wicket victory for Sri Lanka, who chased down the Proteas’ 98 in Colombo.
The Proteas were dominated by the hosts in the one-off T20I that ended their tour of Sri Lanka. Their trial by spin ended in failure once again, as the Proteas lost eight wickets to spin in 16.4 overs.
The Proteas started off positively through Quinton de Kock who hit three boundaries off his first three deliveries. Sri Lanka turned to spin and the momentum shifted.
For the second time in the space of two days, De Kock lost his opening partner Hashim Amla for a duck, the veteran scooping a back of the hand delivery from Dhananjaya de Silva straight to extra cover.
Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dananjaya joined the party and the Proteas were bamboozled, as they tumbled to 84-8 in 13.3 overs.
Their two-seamers, Kasun Rajitha and Isuru Udana, cleaned out Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi, as the Proteas were skittled for their lowest T20I score, 98.
The Proteas struck back superbly through Kagiso Rabada, who dismissed both Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera in his first over.
De Silva got his eye in and got on top of the Proteas bowlers as Sri Lanka reached 34-2 in five overs.
Shamsi came into the attack, bowled a wide with his first delivery and conceded 12 runs to lift the hosts to 46-2 by the end of the powerplay.
Dinesh Chandimal and De Silva were key to sealing the game for their side. They strung together 53 runs off 41 deliveries before De Silva went after Junior Dala with an attempted pull stroke that popped a catch up to Andile Phehlukwayo at mid-wicket.
Shamsi struck shortly after when Angelo Mathews pushed out too far down the pitch and edged a catch to short leg, where Heinrich Klaasen took a stunning low catch with his left hand to send the Sri Lanka skipper on his way for a duck.
Shanaka added 16 runs before he found Reeza Hendricks at deep square-leg, and then Thisara Perera misread a googly from Shamsi that beat his bat and pad and crashed into the stumps. Sri Lanka had lost their sixth with 83 on the board.
JP Duminy brought himself into the attack and struck with his first delivery, his slider crashing into Dananjaya’s stumps to put Sri Lankan fans on edge, but Chandimal’s 33-ball 36 (on his return from suspension) was enough to take his side to the brink of victory, leaving Udana to smash a straight drive off Ngidi to take his side over the line with four overs remaining.
Proteas innings 98 – Quinton de Kock 20; Lakshan Sandakan 3-19,Dhananjaya de Silva 2-22, Akila Dananjaya 2-15.
Sri Lanka innings 99-7 – Dinesh Chandimal 36, Dhananjaya de Silva 31; Kagiso Rabada 2-24, Junior Dala 2-17, Tabraiz Shamsi 2-26
Photo: Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images