Seekuge Prasanna played an illustrious cameo to help Sri Lanka overcome a target of 169 in the final over to win the T20 series 2-1. Nirosha Dickwella played some blinding shots to race past a half-century, his first in T20s. Tahir's three-wicket burst put Lanka on the back foot but Prasanna took them over the line.
Earlier, South Africa were helped by a brilliant knock by Ab de Villiers in his comeback match and rode on some late order hitting by Mangaliso Mosehle. Mosehle's three sixes in the final over took them to a competitive total after the spinners had choked the run flow.
In the end, the total proved to be low and South Africa didn’t help their cause as they dropped far too many catches. The injury to strike bowler, Lungi Ngidi, also handicapped them in the death overs, where Prasanna made merry.
Brief Scores: South Africa 169/5 (de Villiers 63, Hendricks 41) lost to Sri Lanka 170/5 in 19.5 overs (Dickwella 68, Prasanna 37)
Result: Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets
Take a glance at some of the top moments from the final game of the T20 series.
#5 Reeza Hendricks shows his class
Reeza Hendricks is primarily an ODI cricketer and his selection in the T20s took people by surprise and was frowned upon. Given that he had made less runs in the CSA T20 Challenge also did not help his cause and he had to sit out the first two games.
Coming in for the final clash, Hendricks creamed some drives through the cover region, finding great timing in his shots. Hendricks leant into his shots, flourishing on sheer timing.
With de Villiers for company, Hendricks became even more confident but as the Lankan spinners started getting a grip, he failed to rotate the strike well enough. He eventually fell for a well made 41.
#4 The return of de Villiers
If there is one sign of a great batsman, it is that he comes back after a six-month layoff and smacks a hundred in his return game; which de Villiers did in his game for in the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge.
de Villiers walked in at his preferred no. 3 and settled himself in against the Lankans spinners. He struggled in the first few balls to get the right timing but once he was set, there was no stopping the South African. He raced past a half-century and finished with a 44-ball 63 that included three maximums.
He unleashed his wide array of strokes and barely showed any rustiness, in an innings that will relieve his large fanbase.
#3 Mosehle's burst
South Africa's latest asset behind the stumps, Mangaliso Mosehle is a talented youngster who can hit the ball long. The keeper is an attacking batsman with a wide array of strokes and considered a floater in his franchise.
He was used to the same effect in the previous T20 at no. 4 but walked in at 6 against Sri Lanka. After de Villiers was dismissed, Mosehle played a brilliant cameo that helped South Africa to a good total. He hit three maximums in the final over, which was taken for 21.
Mosehle was unbeaten on 32 off 15 balls and will know that he has done enough to become the backup keeper to de Kock in limited overs cricket, at least. In fact, he could be a useful finisher and the Proteas would do well to keep him in and around the national team.
#2 Niroshan Dickwella sizzles
The Sri Lankan opener has taken over the ‘Dilshan role’ in T20s, playing without fear up top and getting Lanka off to fliers. Dickwella was at it again as he played some eye-catching strokes, in between a few top edges, as he raced to his first fifty.
He got into his groove after a really edgy start by smacking Phehlukwayo for three boundaries in an over. He used his feet against the spinners, Tahir and Smuts, and scored a boundary each in their respective overs.
When Smuts returned, Dickwella hit him for another four and then a six to take him out if the attack. The southpaw eventually holed out off the bowling of Imran Tahir.
#1 South Africa's dropping spree continues
South Africa are known to be pioneers of ground fielding in world cricket and the first fielder to be acknowledged as a hero emerged from the Rainbow Nation, a certain Jonty Rhodes. Since then they have produced brilliant fielders and is widely agreed upon that they are one of the best fielding units in cricket.
However, their fielding in limited overs cricket has been the subject of discussion, of late. It seems that under pressure the Proteas fielders just cannot hold on to a ball. There were at least five dropped chances in this game, with Tahir, Parnell, Paterson and Ngidi all guilty of spilling catches.
Dickwella lived a lucky life while many others also escaped the long walk back courtesy some very ordinary fielding by the South Africans. If they intend to win World Cups or major trophies, this kind of fielding under pressure will never help their cause.