2nd T20I – Sune Luus five-for helps South Africa register a thrilling 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka

South Africa 107-8 (19.5)
Dane van Niekerk 33 (19), Lara Goodall 17 (22) Shashikala Siriwardene 12-2 (4), Inoka Ranaweera 15-2 (4)
Sri Lanka 105-10 (19.4)
Shashikala Siriwardene 38 (33), Chamari Athapaththu 20 (29) Sune Luus 14-5 (3.4), Marizanne Kapp 17-3 (4)
By 2 wickets

2nd T20I - Sune Luus five-for helps South Africa register a thrilling 2-0 series win over Sri Lanka

Despite a spirited bowling effort by Sri Lanka, South Africa prevailed at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg to go 2-0 up in the T20I series. The victory also handed the hosts a series win with one more match to go. 
South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl first. 

A poor performance once again with the bat saw only three Sri Lankan batters reach double figures. Opener Hasini Perera who had batted creditably in the previous match departed in the very first over. She was caught by Masabata Klaas off the bowling of Marizanne Kapp to be dismissed for 1 run from 3 balls. Kapp struck again in her second over to dismiss Anushka Sanjeewani (6 runs from 8 balls) for her second low score of the series. 8-2 and Sri Lanka were wobbling. Still, they racked up 31 runs in the Powerplay which meant they had something to build on.

Captain Chamari Athapaththu, the first of the double-digit scorers, soon fell to a Tumi Sekhukhune delivery. Athapaththu had been chugging along at 20 runs from 29 balls before her dismissal. Then Imalka Mendis and Shashikala Siriwardene built an attacking 50-run partnership which took Sri Lanka to a score of 89.

In the 16th over, leggie Sune Luus struck two vital blows. She accounted for both Siriwardene and Mendis, the other two double-digit batters, in the space of four deliveries. 

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First, Siriwardene (38 runs from 33 balls) was stumped off a wide delivery by keeper Faye Tunnicliffe. Then, Mendis (12 runs from 21 balls) was caught by Klaas. Sri Lanka were in deep mire at 90-5 by the end of the over.

Luus again conjured up a double-wicket over to send Umesha Thimashini (7 runs from 6 balls) and Nilakshi de Silva (4 from 8) on their way. Tunnicliffe and Luus were once again involved in a stumping- this time of de Silva.

Oshadi Ranasinghe (1 from 1) was run out. Udeshika Prabodhani was bowled for a duck by Kapp. Inoka Ranaweera (1 from 3) was caught-and-bowled to hand Luus a fifer. Sri Lanka were all out for 105 in 19.4 overs. They lost their last five wickets for 15 runs.

South Africa began aggressively in the chase. Dane van Niekerk, facing most of the strike, was particularly belligerent. Then she was caught by Achini Kulasuriya off her own bowling to depart for 33 runs from 19 balls. South Africa had scored 43 runs at the end of the Powerplay and looked certain to easily overhaul the low target.
Then Tamzin Brits (10 from 15) was adjudged lbw off the bowling of Siriwardene in the 8th over. In the next over, Kapp (7 from 13) was also out lbw to left-arm bowler Ranaweera. South Africa were now 51-3.

Ranaweera made another breakthrough to dismiss Luus for 4 runs from 7 balls. Now the score was 57-4 and perhaps a few hearts in the South African camp were a-flutter.
Siriwardene bagged her second wicket by dismissing Lara Goodall for 17 runs from 22 balls. 76-5 and it promised to be a proper scrap. 

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In the 17th over, Athapaththu had Saarah Smith (4 from 13) handing a catch to de Silva. South Africa now needed 23 runs from 3 overs with 4 wickets remaining.

Tunnicliffe released the pressure in the next over by striking a couple of boundaries off Ranasinghe. However, next over she was run out for 9 runs from 7 balls and the pendulum swung towards Sri Lanka. Athapaththu, the bowler, gifted 3 runs in the form of wides. The equation came down to 10 runs from 10 balls. Then, Athapaththu had Shabnim Ismail stumped for a duck. Two wickets remaining and it was anybody’s game.

In the final over, Nadine de Klerk and Klaas kept cool heads, taking ones and twos off every delivery before de Klerk struck a boundary off the fifth ball to seal a thrilling low-scoring encounter.

Sune Luus was adjudged Player of the Match.

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