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Dickwella, Prasanna guide Sri Lanka to 2-1 series win

Seekkuge Prasanna scored unbeaten 37 from 16 balls
Seekkuge Prasanna scored unbeaten 37 from 16 balls

Sri Lanka 170-5 (Dickwella 68) beat
South Africa 169-5 (de Villiers 63) by five wickets
Third Twenty20 International in Cape Town

Niroshan Dickwella scored a fluent 68 while Seekuge Prasanna played a blistering knock at the end as Sri Lanka chased down 170 against South Africa in 19.5 with five wickets in hand in the third and final Twenty20 International in Cape Town to secure a 2-1 series victory.

The win will be a relief for Sri Lanka, who lost all the three Tests against South Africa earlier in the tour. The game also marked the return of AB de Villiers, who last played for the Proteas in June last year during the One-Day International game against West Indies.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. JJ Smuts (19) and Reeza Hendricks (41) scored two boundaries apiece in the first two overs to take them to 22 for naught.

In the third over, Smuts was dropped by Thikshila de Silva (0-10) off the bowling of Isuru Udana (0-49) but Prasanna (1-21) trapped him LBW two overs later. South Africa ended the powerplay at 48 for one after Hendricks smashed two more boundaries.

In the next four overs, South Africa managed 31 runs and by the halfway mark, they reached 79 for one. The pair brought the 50-run stand off just 39 deliveries and de Villiers struck a six each in the 12th and 13th over to inject some momentum in the innings.

Lakshan Sandakan (1-23) and Asela Gunaratne (1-34) struck in successive overs to remove Hendricks and David Miller (1) respectively but de Villiers completed a 35-ball fifty at the other end.

Despite, losing de Villiers and Farhaan Behardien (6) in the death overs, Mangaliso Mosehle (32 not out) smashed 21 runs in the final over, including three sixes to take South Africa to 169 for five in the 20 overs.

Dickwella (68) and Upul Tharanga (20) scored six boundaries between them to take Sri Lanka to 36 for naught in the first four overs.

Wayne Parnell (1-42) struck in his very first delivery after Tharanga chipped one to mid on and Dinesh Chandimal (5) was dropped at third man, two deliveries later.

Chandimal could not make use of the reprieve as Imran Tahir (3-18) like Parnell, struck in his first delivery having the Sri Lankan captain stumped.

The seventh over bowled by Parnell saw South Africa drop three catches in three consecutive deliveries. Dickwella plundered three more boundaries in the ninth over and at the halfway mark, the visitors needed 89 runs.

He completed his maiden T20I fifty off 35 deliveries and with a six and a four, he brought down the target to 54 runs in the final five overs.

Tahir changed the complexion of the game when he picked both Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva (19) in the 16th over but Prasanna (37 not out) ensured Sri Lanka managed to cross the line in 19.5 overs with his unbeaten 16-ball knock.

Dickwella bagged both the player of the match as well as the player of the series.

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