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Mathews guides Sri Lanka to three-wicket win in a tense chase of 114

Angelo Mathews batted through pain to see his team through
Angelo Mathews batted through pain to see his team through

Sri Lanka 119-7 (Mathews 54no) beat
South Africa 113 (Udana 3-13) by three wickets
Second Twenty20 International in Johannesburg

Angelo Mathews led from the front with an unbeaten fifty as Sri Lanka chased down 114 against South Africa in the final over with three wickets in hand in the second Twenty20 International in Johannesburg to level the series 1-1.

South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first with an unchanged line-up. Nuwan Kulasekara (2-10) had JJ Smuts (4) caught at fine leg while Isuru Udana (3-13) had Theunis de Bruyn dismissed after he chipped one to square leg two overs later.

With a six and a four in the sixth over, Heino Kuhn (29) took South Africa to 41 for two at the end of the powerplay.

Lakshan Sandakan (4-23) made a fabulous debut for Sri Lanka as in his first two overs, after Mangaliso Mosehle (11) edged one to the keeper and Kuhn was stumped.

The wickets continued to tumble for South Africa as David Miller (11) edged a Dhananjaya de Silva (1-3) delivery to the slips. Sandakan further dented South Africa innings by dismissing Andile Phehlukwayo (0) and Wayne Parnell (3) dismissed in the 12th over.

Useful contributions from skipper Farhaan Behardien (27) and Aaron Phangiso (13) propelled South Africa to 113 before they were dismissed. Sandakan and Udana shared seven wickets between them for Sri Lanka.

Niroshan Dickwella (22) started the chase with back to back boundaries in the second over but Lungi Ngidi gave South Africa respite with wickets of de Silva (2) and Kusal Mendis (4) in the third over.

Dinesh Chandimal (22) had a reprieve when Miller dropped him in the fifth over but Ngidi ended Dickwella's 15-ball cameo when he nicked one behind the stumps. Sri Lanka ended the powerplay at 38 for three.

Just when the visitors were struggling, Chandimal and Mathews (54) raised their hopes with a 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

However, it was Ngidi, who once again brought South Africa back into the game with the wicket of Chandimal in the 15th over by the end of which Sri Lanka needed 25 runs.

In the next four overs, South Africa conceded just 18 runs and lost the wickets of Asela Gunaratne (3), Seekuge Prasanna (2) and Thikshila de Silva (3), leaving the visitors seven runs to get in the final over bowled by Smuts (1-19).

Mathews, who was the final hope for Sri Lanka suffered a hamstring injury in the fifth ball of the penultimate over which restricted his movement.

In the first ball of the final over, Mathews was dropped at deep midwicket but the Sri Lankan captain responded with two sixes in the next three deliveries to take his team through. For his heroics, he was also awarded the man of the match.

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