Nobody had imagined that South Africa would have fallen like a house of cards against Sri Lanka the way they did in the wake of the their defeat in the Champions Trophy. A defeat of 4-1 in the series! Until the last match at Premadasa, the Proteas failed to make a comeback which is inherent in the team. But with an exception of one match, the team remained below par throughout the series, and their 128-run defeat in Colombo provided a fitting climax to Sri Lanka’s winning streak.

[caption id="attachment_2013" align="alignright" width="300"]The only disappointing moment for Sri Lanka in the match was when Dilshan lost his wicket in 99 (Photo: AFP) The only disappointing moment for Sri Lanka in the match was when Dilshan lost his wicket in 99 (Photo: AFP)[/caption]

None of their batsmen could play a notable part against host bowlers except AB de Villiers, who scored 51 runs off 51 balls. Ryan McLaren was the second top-scorer for the team with 29 runs. It did not take a Lasith Malinga for Sri Lanka to round off South Africa’s innings in the 44th over on 179. Hashim Amla, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis and David Miller – none of them could stand Sri Lankan bowlers. The tourists were already out of the game when Amla, Duminy and Plessis were dismissed within five overs, and then the team were 85 for 6.

Suranga Lakmal and Ajantha Mendis took three wickets each for 24 and 36 runs, respectively. Sachithra Senanayake took two wickets, and Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thisara Perera claimed one wicket each.

Earlier, when Sri Lanka started their innings after captain Angelo Mathews decided to bat after winning the toss, their first wicket fell at 13 runs when Kusal Perera was dismissed by Morne Morkel. It seemed South African bowlers were back in their form. But Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne proved the impression wrong and set up a partnership of 163 runs, guiding Sri Lanka to a big total.

As Thirimanne (68) were sent to pavilion after compeleting his sixth half-century on 176 runs, Sangakkara came to lend his support to Dilshan. Fate was kind to Dilshan, but not that kind. He was clean bowled when he was just one run short of his 18th ODI hundred. McLaren’s delivery crashed into the middle of wickets when Dilshan was on 99. He hit 13 fours in his innings built on 110 balls.

Mathews (23) also departed when the score was 257. Sri Lanka made 307 runs at the loss of four wickets in 50 overs. Sangakkara played a quick innings of 75 off just 45, completing his 79th ODI century. He smashed 12 fours during his knock. So Sangakkara scored 372 run in the series at an unbelievable average of 93, and this includes a remarkable innings of 169. The performance also earned him the player-of-the-series award.

Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren and Aaron Phangiso all took once wicket apiece.

Dilshan was declared the player of the match for his 99-run knock.

Both teams will now play three T20s, the first being played on August 2 (Friday) at the same venue as today’s match.
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