Sri Lanka’s strolled to a 3-wicket win over South Africa who caved in to spin once again being shot out for 98 in just 16.4 overs in the solitary T20 International at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. The Lankans replied with 99 for 7 wickets in 16 overs with Dinesh Chandimal unbeaten on 36 and Isuru Udana on 5 having hit the winning boundary.
Skipper Angelo Mathews maximized his three pronged spin attack to gain the whip hand by exploiting the South Africans susceptibility against spin. He operated with the pace-spin new ball combination of Kasun Rajitha and Dhananjaya de Silva who started the slide removing star batsman Hashim Amla for a duck in 1.5 overs with the total on 14. Lakshan Sandakan reaped 3 wickets for 19, Akila Dananjaya 2 for 15 and Dhananjaya de Silva 2 for 22. Dhananjaya de Silva, who slammed a quick-fire 31, was adjudged Man of the Match.
Sri Lanka’s run chase was revived after a shaky start by No.4 batsman Dhananjaya de Silva having come in with the total on 2 for 6 after 2 overs after Kusal Janith Perera fell for 3 and Kusal Mendis for 1.
However, Dhananjaya de Silva, who joined Dinesh Chandimal, slammed Ngidi in his second over for a six and two balls later successive boundaries to reach 21 off 14 balls and the total to 33 for 2 after four overs. Chandimal was on 7. The pair went on a run gallop spearheaded by De Silva posting the 50 partnership in 6.4 overs. But Dhananjaya de Silva’s aggressive knock came to an end soon after lofting a ball by Phdehlukwayo to Junior Dala. It was 3 for 59 after 7.4 overs and De Silva had performed a remarkable recovery job for his side having clobbered 2 sixes and 4 boundaries in his 26-ball 31. Chandimal was on 21 off 17 at that stage. The advent of the Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews was short lived when he was out to a diving catch in the slips by Klaasen off the bowling of Tabraiz Shamsi for 1 making it 63 for 4 after 8.3. The comforting factor to the Lankan camp was Chandimal who was on a composed 25 off 18 having struck 3 boundaries and a six. Sri Lanka inched closer to the target by the halfway mark with Dasun Shanaka hammering Shamsi for three successive boundaries to take the total to 79 for 4 after 10.5 overs. He was on 14 off 12 with Sri Lanka needing 20 to win from 54 balls. Chandimal was on 27 off 21. Five balls later Junior Dala claimed the wicket of Shanaka who holed out to Hendricks with the total on 82 after 11.5 overs. He made a run a ball 16. When it looked just a formality with Thisara Perera joining Chandimal the big man was bowled for a duck by Shamsi having faced two deliveries; Sri Lanka 83 for 6 after 12.2. South Africa clawed back into the game with Duminy clean bowling Akila Dananjaya for 2 in reducing the hosts to 88 for 7 in 14.1 overs. It brought Isuru Udana to the wicket and after 15 overs Sri Lanka required 9 to win from 30 deliveries with 3 wickets intact with Chandimal on 31 off 29. He slashed Ngidi for 2, 2 and took a single to cut the deficit down to 4 off 25 when Udana finished it off in style with a straight driven boundary off the next delivery.
South Africa, winning the toss and batting first, made a disastrous start losing 4 wickets for 57 in 8 overs. The rot started by Amla’s dismissal having sparred at a low trajectory ball on the off and miscued to close in fielder Dasun Shanaka. Next man in birthday boy Reeza Hendricks attacked with a six off de Silva with Quinton de Kock also on the double reaching 20 off 11 taking the total to 30 off 3.5 overs, but disaster struck when the latter was run out. It became 3 for 42 after 5.3 when Akila Dananjaya clean bowled Hendricks for 19 off 16. Hendricks brief knock contained 2 boundaries and a six. Skipper Jean Paul Duminy followed nine balls later when he was trapped leg before wicket for 3 by Dhananjaya de Silva and it was 57 for 4 after 8 overs. Just past the halfway mark of 10 overs it became 5 for 69 after 10.1 when Lakshan Sandakan sent back H. Klaassen who was caught by Kusal Mendis for 18. Sandakan went on to strike triple blows removing A.L. Phehlukwayo and Kasigo Rabada for ducks in the space of five balls and South Africa were reeling on 7 for 73 after 11 overs. Dhananjaya de Silva weighed in with his second wicket having David Miller caught behind by wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal for 14 with the opposition tottering on 8 for 84 in 13.3 overs. After the spinners had done their job, Kasun Rajitha and Isuru Udana mopped it up with the former accounting for L. Ngidi for 4 and the latter sending back T. Shamsi for a duck. Both were caught behind by Chandimal.
South Africa 98 All out (16.4 Overs) Run Rate: 5.88
(Q. de Kock 20, R.R. Hendricks 19, H. Klaasen 18, D.A. Miller 14, C.J. Dala n.o. 12,
P.A.D.L.R. Sandakan 3/19, A. Dananjaya 2/15, D.M. de Silva 2/22)
Sri Lanka 99/7 (16 Overs) Run Rate: 6.18
(L.D. Chandimal n.o. 36 , D.M. de Silva 31, M.D. Shanaka 16, I. Udana n.o. 5, Dala 2/22, C.J.K. Rabada 2/24, T. Shamsi 2/26)
By Srian Obeyesekere