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Sri Lanka Seal Series Thanks To Spinners

Tillakaratne Dilshan hit an unbeaten century to ensure Sri Lanka capitalised on their spinners' good work.
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 239-2 (Dilshan 115no) beat
South Africa 238 (A Mendis 4-51) by 8 wickets
Fourth One-Day International, Pallekele

Sri Lanka eased to an eight-wicket victory over South Africa in the fourth One-Day International in Pallekele and so secured the series win with a match still to play.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara added 184 for the second-wicket as the home side cruised to their target of 239 in the 44th over. Dilshan notched up the 17th century of his ODI career off 119 balls, while Sangakkara departed shortly before the end for 91.

Robin Peterson was again a bit of a disappointment with the ball for the Proteas on a slow pitch in Pallekele. He returned figures of none for 46 from eight overs and was out-bowled by off-spinner JP Duminy (10-0-34-0). The seam-bowlers were arguably the most effective part of the bowling attack, with Rory Kleinveldt, playing in place of the injured Ryan McLaren, particularly parsimonious and conceding just 33 runs from eight overs.

Hashim Amla had earlier marked his return from a groin injury by hitting a fluent 77 off 71 balls and adding 101 with Duminy for the second-wicket. South Africa lost Quinton de Kock early to Lasith Malinga (3-52) after winning the toss, but Duminy and Amla gave them the upper hand during their stand which spanned just 115 balls.

However, Sri Lanka’s spinners made the going difficult and the visitors lost three wickets for one run two thirds of the way through their innings. Amla had been trapped leg-before by Dilshan, with AB de Villiers then falling to the same bowler, before a brief partnership between Duminy and Faf du Plessis.

Du Plessis, though, was removed by Rangana Herath to trigger the pivotal collapse. Ajantha Mendis then dispensed with David Miller and Farhaan Behardien on the way to figures of four for 51, while Malinga polished off the tail as South Africa were all out for 238.

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