Sri Lanka have won the lone T20 International against the Proteas by three wickets in Colombo on Tuesday, condemning the tourists to their third defeat in a row.
Set just 99 to win, Sri Lanka were rocked by Kagiso Rabada who dismissed Kusal Perera (3) and Kusal Mendis (1) in his first over.
Rabada bowled right through and ended with 2/24 in his four overs but once he was done, the Sri Lankan pair of Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva (31) were relatively untroubled, taking the score to 59 in the 8th over.
De Silva then fell to Junior Dala and Angelo Matthews (0) soon joined him, the victim of an absolutely brilliant catch at backward short leg by Heinrich Klaasen off Tabraiz Shamsi.
Dasun Shanaka joined Chandimal at the wicket and the pair took Sri Lanka to within 17 runs of victory before Dala removed Shanaka for 16.
Thisara Perera didn’t last long, bowled after not reading a googly from Shamsi and suddenly Sri Lanka were 83 for 6.
With six overs left, four wickets in hand and 16 runs to get, Sri Lanka were still favorites… just.
But the Proteas fightback was not over.
With 11 needed off 36 balls, skipper JP Duminy brought himself into the attack and immediately bowled Akila Dananjaya for 2.
But it was Chandimal, on his return to the side following a ban for ball tampering that guided the Sri Lankans home, as he finished on a calm 36 not out.
Earlier, the Proteas were once again all at sea against spin with Quinton de Kock (20), the highest score made by a visiting batsman.
Lakshan Sandakan was the pick of the home side’s bowlers with 3/19 in his four overs while fellow spinners Dananjaya (2/15) and Dhananjaya de Silva (2/22) were among the wicket-takers.
The Proteas now return to South Africa and will face neighbours Zimbabwe in a 3-match ODI series starting on September 30.