South Africa vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20: Dickwella stars as Sri Lanka win series 2-1

Dickwella struck 10 boundaries and a six during his career-best knock of 68

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Niroshan Dickwella finally gave Sri Lanka a reason to smile as his game-winning knock of 68 saw his side not only beat South Africa by five wickets, but also win the three-match Twenty20 series 2-1.

With all to play for coming into the third Twenty20 International in Cape Town, South Africa made a brisk start after opting to bat first, but that came to a screeching halt when opener Jon-Jon Smuts was trapped lbw off the bowling of Seekkuge Prasanna.

Reeza Hendricks and a returning AB de Villiers, who had been out of action with an elbow injury, made up for the loss of Smuts with a 71-run partnership before Henricks was stumped by stand-in captain Dinesh Chandimal off the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan for 41.

The Proteas began to lose wickets at regular intervals after Hendricks’ departure, but De Villiers held his own and went on to make 63 off 44 balls, which included two boundaries and three sixes.

De Villiers marked his comeback with a brilliant 63

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Thanks to a quickfire 32 not out from wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, South Africa finished on 169/5 off their 20 overs.

Prasanna, Sandakan, Nuwan Kulasekara and Asela Gunaratne picked up one wicket apiece.

Chasing 170 to win, Sri Lanka lost Upul Tharanga, who made 20, in the fifth over before Chandimal followed soon after for just five runs.

The tourists shook off their double blow as Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva put together a 71-run stand, during which Dickwella surpassed his maiden fifty.

Imran Tahir came to the rescue for South Africa as he broke the partnership by removing Dickwella for 68 off 51 balls, which included 10 boundaries and a six.

Despite losing De Silva and Kusal Mendis soon after, Sri Lanka managed to crawl across the finish line with just a single ball to spare courtesy of Prasanna’s unbeaten 37 and Gunaratne’s 11 not out, the majority of which he scored in the final over.

Tahir was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Wayne Parnell claimed one.

Dickwella was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

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