Sunday 22 January 2012 

Sri Lanka End Series With Thrilling Two-Wicket Win

Sri Lanka Clinch Thrilling Two-Wicket Win
Sri Lanka Clinch Thrilling Two-Wicket Win
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Sri Lanka 314-8 (Sangakkara 102, Thirimanne 69) beat
South Africa 312-4 (de Villiers 125no) by two wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Johannesburg

Kumar Sangakkara scored a century before Sri Lanka beat South Africa by two wickets with one ball to spare in a thrilling fifth and final One-Day International in Johannesburg.

Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers both scored centuries for the home side as they posted 312 for four but they still ended up on the losing side as Sri Lanka reached 314 for eight.

Smith made 125 in 143 balls with nine fours and four sixes while de Villiers blasted 125 not out in 98 deliveries, hitting ten fours and four sixes as batsmen prospered.

Sri Lanka then made a flying start to their run chase with Upul Tharanga (46) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41) putting on 72 for the opening wicket and Sangakkara then hitting 102 in 97 balls.

The left-hander cracked ten fours, putting on exactly 100 runs with Dinesh Chandimal (20) for the third wicket as he took centre stage.

His dismissal left the game in the balance but 69 from Lahiru Thirimanne in 63 balls kept Sri Lanka's challenge alive.

South Africa hit back to take five wickets for 33 runs as Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews (6), Tissara Perera (2), Nuwan Kulasekara (0) and finally Thirimanne, with the score on 308, fell.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe, JP Duminy, Wayne Parnell and Robin Peterson all took two wickets but Sri Lanka held their nerve and closed out victory with Rangana Herath and Sachithra Senanayake unbeaten on one and six respectively.

Despite Sri Lanka's brilliance in the series finale, South Africa won the series 3-2 having won the first three matches in the series.

© Cricket World 2012