Tillakaratne Dilshan hit an unbeaten 74 off 51 deliveries to take Sri Lanka to a six-wicket consolation win in the third and final Twenty20 match over South Africa,who won the series 2-1.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis led from the front scoring 85 in his teams imposing 163 for three in 20 overs after electing to bat first at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium. Jean-Paul Duminy continued his top form with a run-a-ball unbeaten 51.
Sri Lanka took off to a strong start as Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene added 67 runs before Jayawardene (33) was out in the sixth over. The start and 20 runs in the 18th over by Thisara Perera enabled Sri Lanka to chase down the score with 11 deliveries to spare.
Obviously we are disappointed with tonight. I thought we were not as good in our execution as in the previous games and in the field today, du Plessis said. All in all really,really happy to come and beat the best team in their own country.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal praised his batsmen for their good performance after failing in the first two matches. Dilshan,who was named man of the match,hit two sixes and nine boundaries while Jayawardenes runs came off 16 deliveries including seven boundaries. Perera hit a six and three boundaries for an 11-ball 25 not out. Medium pace bowler David Wieser returned 2-24 for South Africa.
Earlier,du Plessis hit three sixes and 10 boundaries for a career-best 85 off 65 deliveries to lift South Africa to a strong total. Du Plessis and Duminy put on their century stand after opener Henry Davids had been dismissed off the first ball of the match,leg-before to seamer Nuwan Kulasekara.
Quinton de Kock helped his captain carry the total to 45-1 in the eighth over,before he was leg-before off Ajantha
Mendis second delivery. Duminy hit his 100th six in Twenty20 internationals when he lofted Kulasekara over the mid-wicket fence in the 17th over. Du Plessis was dismissed in the final over,bowled by Lakmal.
Duminy hit two sixes and three boundaries and was man of the series for scoring 132 runs in three matches with an average of 66. He also picked up three wickets.
Sri Lanka rested their two main players,batsman Kumar Sangakkara and fast bowler Lasith Malinga,and recalled Dilshan and Lakmal.
Brief scores: South Africa 163/3 in 20 overs (F du Plessis 85,JP Duminy 51*; S Lakmal 1/29,A Mendis 1/31) lost to Sri Lanka 164/4 in 18.1 overs (T Dilshan 74*,M Jayawardene 33,T Perera 25*; D Wiese 2/24,I Tahir 1/20)