South Africa 121 for 0 (de Kock 59*, Hendricks 56*) beat Sri Lanka 120 for 8 (Perera 39, Karunaratne 24*, Fortuin 2-21, Rabada 2-23) by 10 wickets
Sri Lanka’s top order collapses (again)
Did you watch either of the two previous games? Then you know the basic story. First, Sri Lanka lose wickets in the powerplay. In this match, it was three wickets by the end of the fourth over. First, Avishka Fernando was caught and bowled by Kagiso Rabada – the umpires unsure if it was a bump-ball at first, until replays showed Fernando was out. Then, Dhananjaya de Silva ran past a ball from Bjorn Fortuin and was comprehensively stumped for 1. Next over, Bhanuka Rajapaksa was first roughed up by a Rabada bouncer, fluked an edged four, then attempted to charge him, and got one of his stumps knocked out. Four overs in, Sri Lanka were 28 for 3.
South Africa’s spinners dominate the middle overs (again)
Between them, Keshav Maharaj, Fortuin, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Aiden Markram bowled nine of the 10 overs from the seventh over of Sri Lanka’s innings to the seventeenth. In that time, the spinners did not concede a single boundary – the only four during that stretch coming off the bowling of Dwayne Pretorius, and that off an outside edge. Pretorius had conceded two fours in the powerplay, both off mis-fields to what should have been singles. What’s more, they got four wickets during that period. Sri Lanka’s best batter on the night, Kusal Perera, was struggling to score through this period alongside his teammates. He hit 39 off 33, and was out lbw to Maharaj.
Chamika Karunaratne scrambles at the death
When you’re 93 for 7 at the end of the 17th over, you don’t expect to put up a daunting T20 score. And Sri Lanka didn’t. But of those who tried to attack towards the close, Chamika Karunaratne was most successful, thanks mostly to the two sixes he hit. The first of these was one of the best shots of the game – Karunaratne reaching for a fullish delivery outside off, and smoking it high over the deep cover boundary. The second came off the innings’ final ball, as he went back in his crease to bludgeon a shortish Shamsi delivery way over deep midwicket. He finished with 24 off 19. It wasn’t much. But hey, it was something.
South Africa’s openers cruise the chase
At no point did Reeza Hendricks or Quinton de Kock look uncomfortable. Which is indicative of two things – how much better South Africa’s batters have been on this tour, and also that Sri Lanka’s bowlers, defending another modest score, were themselves having an off day. Between them, South Africa’s openers creamed six fours and a six to take South Africa to 46 at the end of the Powerplay.
Sri Lanka threw their spinners at them, but even the usually-brilliant Wanindu Hasaranga was picked off, and conceded 35 runs from his four overs. There were two very difficult dropped chances, and an lbw shout from Hasaranga early on, but aside from that, the surrender was comprehensive. Hendricks finished with 56 off 42, having hit five fours and a six; De Kock got 59 off 46.