South Africa sealed the one-day international series with two games to spare, seeing off Sri Lanka comprehensively by 78 runs in Pallekele on Sunday, 5 August.
Reeza Hendricks was the star of the show for the visitors, hammering an 89-ball 102, his maiden international century. It was also the fastest by an ODI debutant. With JP Duminy (92) and David Miller (51) following that up with half-centuries, South Africa managed to post 363/7, their highest ODI score in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka never looked likely to topple that target, their struggle to put on partnerships all too evident. They were bowled out for 285 in 45.2 overs, and South Africa took an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Hendricks' century and fifties from Amla and Duminy have powered South Africa to 363/7 – their highest total in an ODI away against Sri Lanka.#SLvSA SCORECARD ⬇️https://t.co/T8YTEyZtcB pic.twitter.com/yowXrvqfXe— ICC (@ICC) August 5, 2018
Put in to bat, South Africa got off to a blistering start, and pleasingly for them, it was Hashim Amla doing the heavy hitting. So much that, in the 42-run partnership for the opening wicket, Quinton de Kock contributed just two runs before falling to Lahiru Kumara.
Hendricks then joined Amla in the middle, and for a little over 10 overs thereafter, Sri Lanka had little cheer. With Hendricks settling in nicely and Amla racking up his 36th fifty in ODIs, the home side was made to chase leather all around the Pallekele International Stadium, with the two batsmen adding 59 runs for the second wicket.
Amla couldn’t power on to a century, though. Thisara Perera, who ended with 4/75, saw to that, deceiving him with an off-cutter, and Amla had to walk back for a run-a-ball 59.
Hendricks then took charge. He added 36 runs with Faf du Plessis (10), the captain, and when the latter became Thisara’s second wicket, Hendricks put on 78 runs more with Duminy.
Hendricks brought up his century off 88 balls, hitting consecutive fours off Kumara to get to the mark, before being cleaned up by the same bowler the very next ball. A remarkable innings had come to an end, and South Africa were 215/4, but if the hosts harboured hopes of fighting back, they were mistaken.
Duminy, who had been relaxed till this point, shifted gears, adding 103 runs for the fifth wicket with Miller. In doing so, they ensured the hosts would need to conjure something special to beat them. Sri Lanka just couldn’t contain runs in the death overs, with the dismissals of Duminy, in the 47th over, and Miller, in the penultimate over, coming too late.
In their chase, the hosts lost Niroshan Dickwella (10) in the fourth over, and when Upul Tharanga (19) followed suit two overs later, they were 37/2, with Lungi Ngidi claiming both scalps.
Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis managed to add 26 runs for the third wicket, with the former scoring a 17-ball 27 before falling to Andile Phehlukwayo. Thisara, the new man, didn’t last long either, scoring a 14-ball 16 before being sent back by Willem Mulder. Sri Lanka were 81/4 within 12 overs.
Angelo Mathews showed resistance. He added 43 with Kusal Mendis, before the latter holed out off Ngidi, and then put on 31 with Dhananjaya de Silva for the sixth wicket. Mathews was eventually sent back for a 42-ball 32 by Tabraiz Shamsi, who trapped him lbw.
Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock have just become the fifth-highest aggregating opening pair in ODI history, going past the firm of Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh. pic.twitter.com/yzQVmsM62X— ICC (@ICC) August 5, 2018
However, De Silva delayed South Africa with his fourth ODI half-century. It was frustrating period for the visitors as de Silva and Akila Dananjaya added 95 runs for the seventh wicket, with boundaries coming in a rush.
The chase was just too steep, though. Dananjaya holed out off Phehlukwayo for a 42-ball 37, and in his next over, de Silva was dismissed as well, caught behind for a 66-ball 84.
It was all too little too late.
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