Quinton De Kock got a great start to begin South Africa’s run tally with a couple of much-needed runs in place.
But the same old exposure of getting trip while playing spin still causes issues time after time.
At first, Hashim Amla mistimed that shot from the spin-off Dhanajaya De Silva straight to the hands of Dasun Shanaka at Cover.
Not long after Amla’s dismissal, De Kock ended the run-fest himself via miscommunication with Reeza Hendricks.
Fantastic arm from Lakshan Sandakan to De Silva who stumped De Kock for a run out on 20.
Hendricks tried to fill-in De Kock’s shoes and went hard with the bat until he swept & miss the sweep too early.
That allowed Akila Dananjaya to attack towards the stumps which sent Hendricks to the pavilion on 19.
JP Duminy tried to trick the spinners via cross bat shots but got out via a successful LBW appeal from De Silva for two.
The same said for Heinrich Klaasen.
Despite building a double-figures score, he topped the edge up high allowing Kusal Mendis to take that catch at Point.
It’s not the only time that Klaasen became Lakshan Sandakan’s only scalp.
Sandakan picked up two more wickets through both men of Andile Phehlukwayo & Kagiso Rabada.
David Miller became their only hope of trying to enter past the three-figure mark.
Unfortunately, Alika Dananjaya saw his second wicket coming when Miller tried to sweep for a boundary.
Instead, he top-edged the bat straight to Dinesh Chandimal.
As the Sri Lankan spinners give the fast bowlers a turn, Kasun Rajitha & Isuru completed South Africa’s innings of Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi respectively.
It’s a very meager score by the visitors on 98.
It’s not too long for South Africa to rebound some lost time from bat to ball.
That’s where Kagiso Rabada picked up two early wickets on both Kusals on Perera and Mendis.
Although, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhanajaya De Silva have lifted with crucial runs halfway towards their run target on 99.
De Silva went off on 31 from the pace of Junior Dala to Andile Phehulukwayo’s hands.
Dasun Shanaka did make an impact by batting a bit having shown glimpses of talent last week during the 4th ODI.
But Dala picked up his 2nd scalp when Shanaka pulled up high as Reeza Hendricks’s catch sent him back to the pavilion on 16.
Not only Dala did the work on the seamers’ side, so does Tabraiz Shamsi.
It’s a while that Shamsi hasn’t played cricket since South Africa’s win in the 3rd ODI.
He too returned and gave the visitors some lifeline having dismissed both Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera on 0.
The same said so where JP Duminy dismissed Alika Dananjaya out for two.
Despite some late impact with the ball, South Africa’s batting performances looked overexposed time after time.
That’s where Dinesh Chandimal has wrapped up South Africa’s Tour of Sri Lanka with a fantastic score of 36.
Sri Lanka won the lone T20I by three wickets.
Sri Lanka has got the tools for making the most out of their spinners right on home conditions.
When they bat, Dinesh Chandimal & Dhananjaya De Silva have lifted their run chase.
Although, De Silva got out early with a quickfire 31.
However, you got to look at one particular player who’s outstanding both the gloves & bat.
Dinesh Chandimal doesn’t hesitate as he pulls off cross-bat shots when playing late in the usual area between or behind square.
And credit to the tailenders on backing the specialist white-ball opener up in which Chandimal concluded the innings with the trophy won by the home side.
Visiting Team’s Feedback
Time and time again, South Africa couldn’t trick the Sri Lankan spinners.
Some of the shots they played are spin-related such as the sweep, pull & hook, etc.
But only at the wrong time where they completed most of the work with seven wickets last night.
No fault to the bowlers both seamers and spinners having picked up a couple of wickets.
You saw Kagiso Rabada get rid of both Kusals with two early wickets straight after the innings break.
So did Tabraiz Shamsi who was the standout spinner during South Africa’s three-match ODI series victory.
He too picked up two late wickets by giving the Protea fans some motivation.
And it’s a bit unfair to them when the batting only did so little after failing to break through the three-figure mark.
They have to investigate as to how they can cope without Faf Du Plessis who’s out with a shoulder injury.
Not only that, they have to practice the art of spin a lot more as the 2019 Cricket World Cup comes around when playing against the best of the top teams.
But it doesn’t end there.
They’ve got another subcontinent meeting v India overseas late October next year.
So they have to either act fast now or risk seeing the similar results such as their 2-0 test series whitewash disaster seen over the past month.
Although, their next meeting v Zimbabwe at home should be easy to overcome.
But another overseas encounter v Australia in November will put the Proteas back into the pressure cooker.
- Cricket South Africa (Feature Image).