By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka demolished South Africa by 128 runs in the fifth and final ODI at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to wrap up the series 4-1. It was an unusually poor series for the South Africans who simply looked incompetent due to the absence of 3-4 star players. Skipper AB de Villiers was helpless as his bowlers failed to bowl according to the field while his batsmen looking pretty ordinary.
Batting first, Sri Lanka were powered to 307 for 4. Their innings was built by a 163-run stand between Dilshan and Thirimanne. Thirimanne worked his way to a 93-ball 68. Dilshan on the other hand got out on 99, playing all around a slower yorker from Ryan McLaren. It was a thunderous knock from Kumar Sangakkara that really demoralized the visitors. Sanga played fluently and freely to score 75 not out in just the 45 balls with a dozen fours.
South Africa promised a lot at the top with Hashim Amla looking in some form. However, Sachitra Senanayake spoilt the party for the Proteas by removing the opening batsmen – Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla inside the mandatory powerplay. SA simply lost its way after that with the Sri Lankans chipping away at the wickets.
Skipper AB de Villiers was the lone man fighting before he too got out after a run-a-ball 51. The Proteas were bowled out for 179 in 43.5 overs with Suranga Lakmal and Ajantha Mendis taking three wickets each. Dilshan was the surprise Man of the Match while Sangakkara who could have got that award, got the bigger prize of the Player of the Series.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat in the fifth and final ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. The Lankans have sealed the series 3-1.
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kushal Janith Perera, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Angelo Mathews (C), Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers (C&WK), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Aaron Phangiso, Morne Morkel, Ryan McLaren, Lonwabo Tsotsobe