It was an even-stevens day at Colombo until the last seven overs of the day. South Africa fought hard throughout the day, but the Proteas lost four quick wickets in the last 10 overs of the day to see Sri Lanka keeping their noses ahead in the series decider.
Karunaratne, Mathews stretches the lead:
Both the overnight batsmen, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews carried the innings by playing a spectacular role respectively. They kept Proteas chasing the leather most of the time but were unfortunate to miss out reaching the triple-figure mark.
However, Lungi Ngidi’s magical delivery saw Karunaratne walk back to the pavilion while Keshav Maharaj sent Mathews back. After a fine show, Sri Lanka’s skipper Suranga Lakmal declared the innings by asking the visitors to chase whopping 490 runs.
In reply to the chase, Aiden Markram once again failed to show his charisma as Rangana Herath trapped him LBW.
His opening partner Dean Elgar who showed some resistance eventually failed to deal with Dilruwan Perera’s delivery.
Hashim Amla, who looked solid in the middle with his defence was cleaned up by the Jaffa from Herath. The youngster Theunis de Bruyn was the lone warrior for South Africa, who survived the spin scare for a while.
Adding the vows to South Africa, their skipper, Faf du Plessis too failed to read Akila Dananjaya, who was quickly followed by Keshav Maharaj.
In a brief moment, the scorecard of South Africa read 98 for two to 113 for five. It was once again the spin trio who rattled the defence of South Africa to add further woes to Proteas’ management.
However, in the end, a nice little partnership between Bruyn and Temba Bavuma saved South Africa from further embarrassment. At the conclusion of day three when stumps were drawn, South Africa needed 351 runs to win while Islanders required just five wickets to seal the series 2-0.
Sri Lanka – 338-all out; South Africa – 124-all out
Sri Lanka – 275/5 dec (Karunaratne -85, Mathews 71; Maharaj 3/154)
South Africa – 139/5 ( Bruyn 45*; Herath 2/54, Dananjaya 2/35)