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Sune Luus

South Africa clinch T20I series with thriller against Sri Lanka

SA v SL, 2nd WT20I, report

Sune Luus took a magnificent 5/14 to restrict an improved Sri Lanka to 105 all out, and despite a lower order collapse, the home side had just enough in the tank to secure series victory with one ball remaining.


The Sri Lankan bowlers rallied well, Shashikala Siriwardana returning an impressive 2/12 and Inoka Ranaweera 2/15, but another priceless contribution from Dane van Niekerk made the chase possible, and a mature effort from Jade de Klerk helped shepherd her side to an unassailable 2-0 lead. 

The tourists lost the toss and were put in on Sunday, 3 February, in the second Twenty20 International. A 50-run stand between Imalka Mendis (12) and Siriwardana lifted Sri Lanka from a precarious position to a competitive one, having dipped to 8/2 courtesy of two early scalps from Marizanne Kapp.

Chamari Athapaththu then added 20, before Siriwardana took it to her opponents, notching five boundaries for her impressive 38.

Luus entered the fray with things looking ominous for the home side, but she dislodged both Mendis and Siriwardana in the same over, before tearing through the Sri Lankan lower order. Athapaththu’s team collapsed from 89/3 after 15 overs to 105 all out in the 20th, Luus picking up 5/14 and the final six batters all amassing single figure scores. 

It was her second career T20I five-wicket haul, making her only the second woman after Anisa Mohammad to have as many.

South Africa made a decent start to their reply, batting up with the run-rate but losing their top order along the way, van Niekerk the victim of an Achini Kulasuriya caught and bowled for an exciting 19-ball 31. Tazmin Brits (10) and Kapp (7) then fell in quick succession as the Sri Lankan bowlers squeezed excellently, South Africa reaching 55/3 at the halfway stage.

The middle order was fragile, Lara Goodall the highlight with a useful 17, but fortunately for the hosts the runs did not subside alongside the fall of wickets. De Klerk marshalled her side to the final over with eight runs required and No.10 Masabata Klaas for company. A drive through the covers from de Klerk yielded four after some dynamic running had halved the deficit, and South Africa edged home with a ball remaining.

While they have conceded the series, Sri Lanka will be looking to bounce back with a win in the final bout on Wednesday, 6 February. 

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