Senanayake starts off with a six,seals 300-plus run chase

Despite centuries by AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith,South Africa lost the final one-dayer against Sri Lanka by two wickets with one ball remaining

Written by Agencies | Johannesburg | Published: January 23, 2012 12:57 am

Despite centuries by AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith,South Africa lost the final one-dayer against Sri Lanka by two wickets with one ball remaining on Sunday. It was Sri Lanka’s second straight ODI win in the series as the hosts ended a disappointing series on a bright note. South Africa,though,had already wrapped up the five-match series with three straight wins in the first three games.

For a while,it seemed as if a determined century from Graeme Smith (125) and a free-flowing one from captain AB de Villiers (125 not out) had given South Africa enough runs to defend as Sri lanka were set a 313-run target. But after a bright start from openers Upul Tharanga (46) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41),Kumar Sangakkara came to the fore with an excellent 102 to steer the chase in the middle. At one point,Sri Lanka were 274 for 3 in 44 overs,and appeared cruising to a win.

But after his exit,with 39 runs still required for a win,Sri Lanka almost messed up the chase. It became 308 for 8 before Sachithra Senanayake,playing only his second ODI,slog-swept the penultimate delivery for six to seal the victory — his first scoring shot in international cricket.

Brief scores: South Africa 312/4 (AB de Villiers 125 n.o.,G Smith 125; L Malinga 2/79); Sri Lanka 314/8 (K Sangakkara 102,L Thirimanne 69; W Parnell 2/51)

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