Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
SENIORS FIRE AGAIN AS SRI LANKA CLINCH SERIES
Dilshan and Sangakkara improved on their own record of biggest second wicket stand against South Africa which stood at 158 since they established it at Centurion in 2009
Tillekaratne Dilshan hammered a magnificent unbeaten century while Kumar Sangakkara made 91 as Sri Lanka sailed smoothly to a comprehensive eight wicket win in the fourth ODI against South Africa yesterday at the Pallekele Stadium to gain an unassailable 31 lead in the five match series.
Dilshan hit the winning run which overhauled South Africa’s 238 in the final ball of the 44th over having faced 130 balls and hitting 16 boundaries. It was his 17th ODI century in a career of 266 matches.
The two former Sri Lanka captains shared a record 184-run second wicket stand to put the hosts firmly on the path to victory, but Sangakkara fell just ten runs short of victory, caught at mid-on while attempting to race to a century.
The veteran left hander was on 91 and required to score nine out of Sri Lanka’s final ten runs in order to reach his 17th ODI century when he was caught by Rory Kleinveldt off paceman Morne Morkel. Sangakkara hit eight fours and two sixes in his 101-ball stay.
Dilshan and Sangakkara improved on their own record of biggest second wicket stand against South Africa which stood at 158 since they established it at Centurion in 2009.
Dilshan who also captured two crucial South African wickets with his off spin was named man of the match.
Mahela Jayawardene who was promoted to open the innings in place of off-colour Upul Tharanga added 45 for the first wicket with Dilshan in 10 overs before Jayawardene was brilliantly caught by Hashim Amla off Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Earlier, a fighting 97 by JP Duminy and 77 from Hashim Amla helped South Africa make 238 all out when they batted first after winning the toss.
Duminy and Amla lifted the Proteas to a comfortable 118 for 1 by the 22nd over in a 101-run second wicket stand but following Amla’s dismissal, Sri Lanka hit back in great style with superb bowling backed by tight fielding to grab the next eight wickets for just 87 runs.
Left hander Duminy remained solid amidst the carnage and finally took charge in the last wicket stand of 33 in four overs before being bowled three runs shy of a century in the penultimate over by spinner Ajantha Mendis.
Duminy cracked seven boundaries and two sixes in 121 balls having scor- ed his last 30 runs off just 18 balls with two sixes and three fours during that last wicket stand while his partner Lonwabo Tsotsobe made only three not out.
Mendis finished with four for 51, part timer Tillekratne Dilshan captured two for 40 in ten overs while left arm spinner Rangana Herath gave away only 38 runs off his ten overs to complete the dominance by spinners. Paceman Lasith Malinga also joined the party, capturing three for 52.
Amla, the world’s number two ranked ODI batsman exhibited what the tourists missed in the previous three matches with a domineering early knock, caning the Sri Lankan pacers with scant respect.
The bearded opener who missed the first match of the series with neck spasms injured himself while fielding in the second match and could not bat. He also missed the third match due to that injury and had a knock for the first time but hardly showed any rustiness, cruising to 77 off 71 balls with nine boundaries.
Amla who is also the world’s number one ranked Test batsman completely dominated the second wicket stand while Duminy played second fiddle, making only 32 off 51 balls after Quinton de Kock had been bowled by Malinga in the third over.
Dilshan in his third over removed Amla leg-before and just eight balls later had skipper AB de Villers caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara.
Faf du Plessis made 23 and added 46 for the fourth wicket with Duminy but was controversially ruled stumped off Rangana Herath by TV umpire Richard Kettleborough from England, triggering a debilitating middle-order collapse. From 172 for 3 in the 37th over, South Africa slumped to 205 for nine losing six wickets for 33 in 8 overs.
Hero of South Africa’s victory on Friday in the third ODI, David Miller last just three balls before being bowled by Mendis who also had Farhaan Behardien caught at short-leg brilliantly by Lahiru Thirimanne two balls later to send the visitors crashing to 173 for 6.
Malinga came back for his final spell to dismiss Robin Peterson and Rory Kleinveldt in successive overs while Mendis removed Morne Morkel in the next over as the visitors slumped to 205 for nine in the 45th over.