SA complete 3-0 sweep after big DLS win

Dwaine Pretorius goes for a big hit
South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Johannesburg March 24, 2019

South Africa 198 for 2 (Pretorius 77*, Hendricks 66) beat Sri Lanka 137 (Dickwella 38, Pehlukwayo 4-24) by 45 runs (DLS method)

The final limited-overs match of this tour followed the form of so many matches between these two teams over the past few weeks. Sri Lanka failed to make regular breakthroughs through South Africa's innings - Reeza Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius combined to put on 90 for the second wicket. The hosts then produced a strong finish, JP Duminy clobbering 34 off 14 balls, as South Africa surged to 198 for 2 from their 20 overs.

With the bat, Sri Lanka were poor once again. Niroshan Dickwella provided a fast start, flitting around the crease to crunch a 22-ball 38. The rest of the batting order then proceeded to collapse - five wickets going down for 41 runs - before Isuru Udana made his now-customary charge, walloping four sixes in his 36 off 23 balls. A Sri Lanka win always seemed improbable, even when Udana was at the crease, but when he got out, all hope was extinguished. Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets - including that of Udana - for zero runs.

The only feature of this match to really set it apart from many of the games that preceded it on this tour, was the rain delay, which took over 70 minutes out of the game, and shortened Sri Lanka's innings by three overs. Before the interruption, they had been six down, with Udana in the middle, and had 88 to get off 53 balls. After play resumed, they needed 72 off 35. Two excellent overs from Tabraiz Shamsi, who conceded only 20 from his four overs, prevented Udana from exploding immediately after the rain break. He was able to hit only one more six in the innings, before Andile Phehlukwayo had him caught at long off - David Miller backpedaling to take an excellent overhead catch.

Having played an important role in both Sri Lanka's top order and lower order collapses, Phehlukwayo claimed the game's best figures of 4 for 24, with fellow fast bowlers Junior Dala and Lutho Sipamla also taking two wickets apiece. South Africa's attack was substantially depleted for this match, with Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn all rested. But there was still more than enough firepower to take down an exceedingly modest Sri Lanka batting unit.

Earlier, South Africa had produced a match-defining second-wicket stand, just as they had done on Friday. Although Rassie van der Dussen - who had been part of the big partnership in the second T20 - was rested for this game, opener Hendricks hit his second successive fifty, and was joined at the other end this time by Pretorius, who produced the best innings of the evening: a 42-ball 77 not out.

The pair came together in the sixth over, with South Africa going at a run-rate of over six, but took the innings by the collar through the course of their partnership, adding 90 runs off 55 deliveries. Neither Sri Lanka's spin nor seam bowling was spared. In the 10th over, bowled by legspiner Jeffrey Vandersay, Pretorius got low and launched the ball into the stadium roof beyond midwicket. Next over, Hendricks smoked Lasith Malinga past point for four, then sent him through the covers for another boundary next ball, as South Africa reaped 12 from that over. Akila Dananjaya had an over launched for 13 as well, and soon, South Africa were ticking along at well over eight an over - a score in the region of 200 beckoning.

Hendricks was eventually bowled by Vandersay at the end of the 15th over, but his departure only opened the door for more destructive hitting. Pretorius began the next over by crashing three consecutive fours off Suranga Lakmal, before slog-sweeping Akila for another six and a four.

Duminy made his presence felt from the 18th over onwards, plundering two fours and a six off consecutive Malinga deliveries, before next over hitting two successive sixes down the ground off Udana. Together, the two batsmen hit 71 off the last five overs, and did justice to the platform they had had.

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