South Africa have one more ODI series to their name after defeating Sri Lanka by 78 runs in the third ODI at Pallekele. They now lead the 5 match ODI series 3-0.
Angelo Mathews won the toss and chose to bowl first. Hashim Amla provided South Africa the first start but Lahiru Kumara picked up De Kock in the sixth over when the scoreboard read 42. Due to Adien Markram’s poor form, Reeza Hendricks was brought in his place as the Kimberly born batsman made his debut.
And he managed a dream debut!! Hendricks was confident from the first delivery and looked to play strokes from the very beginning. Amla on the other side of the wicket completed a brisk half-century before he was picked up by Thisara Perera for 59. Captain Du Plessis couldn’t add much to the scoreboard. Perera struck gold again, dismissing Du Plessis for just 10 runs when the scorecard read 137-3 in the 23rd over. From this point, there was no looking back for South Africa.
Reeza and JP Duminy took the charge to SL bowlers. The debutant soon completed his century before being picked up by Lahiru Kumara. The debutant scored 102 runs in just 89 balls. Duminy continued the good work from where Hendricks left, while Miller provided the much-needed support. Duminy scored a brilliant 92 from just 70 balls and eventually lost his wicket to Thisara Perera. Miller took on the charge as he completed his fifty and Andile Phehlukwayo played a good cameo of 24 runs from just 11 balls to help South Africa post a score of 363-7 in their 50 overs.
Thisara Perera was the pick up of the bowlers for Sri Lanka with 4 wickets for 75 runs in 10 overs.
The chase was always going to be an uphill task for the Sri Lankans against such a formidable South African bowling attack. Lungi Ngidi struck twice in the first six overs to apply the speed brakes in Sri Lanka’s chase. Kagiso Rabada was economical througout but had no wickets to show for. Wickets kept on tumbling in regular intervals as Sri Lanka failed to construct a partnership. They were soon reduced to 155-6 in the 27th over thanks to Nigidi and Phehlukwayo.
However, the match wasn’t finished yet. Dhananjaya de Silva and Akila Dhananjaya showed great character to start a Sri Lankan comeback. The duo added 95 runs before Phehlukwayo picked up Akila Dhananjaya. de Silva continued the good work but his lone battle came to an end after Phehlukwayo picked him up in the 42nd over.
The end was near for Sri Lanka. The last three batsmen showed less resistance before the innings ended for 285-10 in the 46th over. De Silva was the highest scorer for with 84 runs. Ngidi picked up 4 wickets while Phehlukwayo picked up 3 wickets.
The situation doesn’t look any bright for Sri Lanka as they have now lost one more series. For South Africa it’s a great comeback after they were clean swept in the test series. The fourth match is at the same venue on 8th August. While the Proteas will look to give their fringe players a chance, Sri Lanka will fight for their self-respect.
South Africa: 363-7 (50 o.)
Reeza Hendricks 102 (89 balls)
JP Duminy 92 (70 balls)
Thisara Perera 10-0-75-4.
Sri Lanka: 285-10 (45.2 o.)
Dhananjaya De Silva 84 (66 balls)
Akhila Dhananjaya 37 (42 balls)
Lungi Ngidi 8.2-0-57-4.
Man of The Match: Reeza Hendricks.