Sri Lanka vs South Africa 5th ODI: Dananjaya’s career-best figures helps Sri Lanka annihilate South Africa

Akila Dananjaya career-best six wickets Sri Lanka South Africa 5th ODI Colombo cricket

Akila Dananjaya took career-best figures 6-29 off nine overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya took a career-best six-wicket haul to lead his side to a convincing 178-run win over South Africa in the fifth ODI in Colombo.

Dananjaya was well supported by stand-in captain Angelo Mathews, who scored an unbeaten 97.

However, despite winning the match, Sri Lanka still lost the series 3-2.

Electing to bat first, Sri Lanka made a solid start to their innings as openers Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga amassed a 50-run partnership before Tharanga was caught behind off the bowling of Junior Dala for 19.

Kusal Perera fell for eight runs, but Dickwella and Kusal Mendis steadied things with a 50-run stand before Dickwella was caught behind off the bowling of Andile Phehlukwayo for 43.

Mendis went on to make 38 before Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva put together a 53-run partnership.

Even though De Silva was dismissed by Willem Mulder for 30, Mathews and Thisara Perera kept the runs flowing with a 52-run partnership.

Thisara ended up being removed for 13, while Dasun Shanaka made a quickfire 21.

Dananjaya was sent packing for six runs on the last ball of the innings, but Sri Lanka finished on 299/8 thanks to Mathews’ unbeaten 97, which came off 97 balls and included 11 boundaries and a six.

Angelo Mathews 97 Sri Lanka South Africa 5th ODI Colombo cricket

Angelo Mathews fell three runs short of his third ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mulder and Phehlukwayo picked up two wickets apiece, while Dala, Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj chipped in with one wicket each.

Chasing 300 to win, South Africa made a horrible start to their innings as Hashim Amla was clean bowled by Suranga Lakmal for a duck on the fourth ball of the innings.

Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks were dismissed off successive deliveries by Dananjaya, who then proceeded to trap Heinrich Klaasen lbw for three runs.

With South Africa struggling at 39/4, stand-in captain Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy temporarily halted Sri Lanka’s charge with a 46-run stand before Duminy was caught and bowled by De Silva for 12 runs.

Mulder fell shortly after, while De Kock ended up making 54 off 57 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six, before he was clean bowled by Dananjaya.

Quinton de Kock 54 Sri Lanka South Africa 5th ODI Colombo cricket

Quinton de Kock scored his 17th ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

With Dananjaya proceeding to carve through the Proteas’ lower order, South Africa were skittled out for 121.

Dananjaya was the most successful bowler with six wickets, while Lahiru Kumara took two, and Lakmal and De Silva claimed one wicket each.

De Kock was less than impressed with his side’s performance, and said: “Always nice getting ahead when you’re in Sri Lanka. Not easy coming here and winning. It’s always important, we know coming to the subcontinent isn’t easy. I think they batted really well and bowled really well once again, they kept the pressure on us, Angie led them really well. Akila knows what he’s doing with the ball. It’s hard to take him on, he’s got a lot of variations – we have batted well against him in this series, but today he bowled really well.”

Mathews was thrilled to have won, and said: “This was the performance we were looking for, unfortunately a bit too late. Lots of positives. The way Akila bowled today, Dhananjaya de Silva chipping in with the ball. Wicket was on the slower side, I was struggling initially. Pleased with the way I batted, good to contribute. Credit to the South Africans the way they played after having bad days in the Test series. It’s a work in progress (for Sri Lanka ahead of the 2019 World Cup). We’ve still got time for the World Cup, we’ll see how it goes.”

Dananjaya was named Man of the Match.

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