Right then! After a total drubbing in the Tests, Sri Lanka have bounced back in the T20Is to win the series. Arguably, mostly due to South Africa's complacency but then they will take it. The two teams now lock horns in a 5-match ODI series starting from Saturday, 28th January, 2017 at 1000 local (0800 GMT) in Port Elizabeth. The Lankans definitely have the momentum but expect the Proteas to bounce back like a wounded lion. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Sri Lanka skipper, Dinesh Chandimal says that after a poor result in the Tests, they wanted to get back to winning ways. They did that in the 2nd T20I and wanted to take the momentum into the third. Praises Dickwella and Sandakan for their performances in the whole series. Also acknowledges the performance of Mathews in the second T20I. Appreciates today's performances of Prasanna and Gunaratne. Ends by saying that he is looking forward for the one-dayers.
Man of the Match and Man of the Series, Niroshan Dickwella says it's his first time in South Africa and it felt great to play under these conditions. He says that he wanted to take advantage of the first six overs and then bat as long as possible for his team. He adds that he likes to play according to his strength on being asked about his cheeky shots. Appreciates the South African wickets as they were good batting tracks. Ends by saying that he is happy as he did his job for his team.
South Africa skipper Farhaan Behardien feels that they had enough on board. He says the camp wanted to do better with the bat after the 2nd T20I. Blames those dropped catches which proved costly. Also feels that losing Ngidi was a huge blow as they had to fill in his overs. Praises Tahir for his performance but says that it didn't prove to be enough for them to get over the line. Ends by saying it was tough to lose in front of a packed Newlands crowd and will now change their attention to the ODIs.
Like the Lankans, the Proteas too bowled inconsistently. Ngidi and Paterson started well but then the former had an injury and could not bowl his entire quota of 4 overs while Paterson went for a lot in the death overs. Wayne Parnell was the unluckiest of the bowlers, with three dropped catches coming of his own bowling while Tahir was brilliant again, with 3/18 in 4 overs. Phehlukwayo was poor tonight. Stay tuned for the presentation.
They say, in a T20 game, one moment is enough to change the momentum. South Africa were abysmal in the field tonight. As many as five catches were put down with three going down in succession and if that was not enough, Imran Tahir misjudged an easy chance of Seekkuge Prasanna when he was only on 2. He ended up on an unbeaten 37 from 16 balls and that moment on 16.2 swung the series Sri Lanka's way.
Tharanga and Chandimal departed in quick succession but the 71-run stand in 61 balls for the third wicket between Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva gave nervous moments to the Proteas. Then, came those two magical overs - First, Phehlukwayo bowled a wonderful 2-run over in the 15th and then the pressure led to the wickets of the two set batsmen in the next over from Tahir. South Africa were back on top, with the Lankans needing 52 from 24 balls.
We mentioned during the innings break that if Dickwella got going, you never know. He did get going. He got off to a racy start but then struggled in the middle overs. But as long as he was there, the Lankans were in chance of a win.
Phew! What a game. Fully filled of twists and turns till that final over. In the end, Sri Lanka prevailed as the Proteas choked.
Dane Paterson to Asela Gunaratne
That is the game! Comes down the track again, Paterson bowls it on a length outside off, Gunaratne gets to the pitch of the ball and eases it through cover-point for the winning run! This time Gunaratne crosses for the single, uproots the stumps at the bowler's end and then roars in triumph. What a run chase. SRI LANKA WIN BY 5 WICKETS AND TAKE THE SERIES 2-1!
TOP EDGE, FOUR! That levels the scores! A length ball outside off, Gunaratne comes down the track and swings hard but gets a top edge which sails over the keeper to the third man fence! Drama prevails as Gunaratne uproots the off stump and celebrates but then the square leg umpire tells him that the game is not over yet! Prasanna apologizes on Gunaratne's behalf but Behardien is not too happy.
A conference is going on out there. As many as 4 players are giving advice to the bowler. Too many cooks spoiling the broth?
Dane Paterson to Seekkuge Prasanna
Full and outside off, Prasanna swings hard and gets a thick inside edge onto his pads. Went too hard there. The ball goes towards point and the batsmen take a run. 5 NEEDED FROM 3 BALLS.
Behardien has a long chat with his bowler. No field change.
Comes down the track and blasts it over covers for a single. 6 needed from 4 balls now.
FOUR! Lovely shot! Full and outside off, Gunaratne gets across and paddles it over short fine leg for a boundary! 7 NEEDED FROM 5 BALLS!
DANE PATERSON to bowl the final over. Sri Lanka need 11 for a win. 10 for a Super Over.
Andile Phehlukwayo to Seekkuge Prasanna
FOUR! Ho ho ho! Cheeky! Prasanna looks to play the paddle scoop by getting across and on seeing that, the bowler bowls it wide outside off. What does the batsman do? Keeps the bat as it is and just angles it to scoop the ball over the right side of the keeper instead! 15 from the over, Phehlukwayo goes for 32 in his 4 overs!
Another dot! Full and outside off, almost the yorker again, Prasanna swings but misses again!
Excellent comeback from the bowler. Yorker length, outside off, SP looks to force it through the off side but loses his bat instead which goes near square leg.