Sune Luus’ all-round efforts complete South Africa’s 3-0 sweep

South Africa 163-5 (20)
Dane van Niekerk 38 (29), Lara Goodall 35 (30) Chamari Athapaththu 25-1 (4)
Sri Lanka 124-8 (20)
Chamari Athapaththu 43 (36), Shashikala Siriwardene 29 (21) Nadine de Klerk 27-3 (4), Shabnim Ismail 11-2 (4)
By 39 runs

Sune Luus' all-round efforts complete South Africa's 3-0 sweep

South Africa completed a series whitewash by winning the final T20I against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park.
Sri Lanka elected to put the hosts in to bat on winning the toss. Sri Lanka made three changes to their eleven bringing in Harshitha Madavi, Kavisha Dilhari and Prasadani Weerakkody. Anushka Sanjeewani, Umesha Thimashini and Udeshika Prabodhani missed out. For the first time in the series, South Africa were setting a total.

They were off to a good start piling on 40 runs in the Powerplay. Tamzin Brits (36 from 30) finally had a decent outing before she was caught by Shashikala Siriwardene off the left-arm bowling of Inoka Ranaweera.

Dane van Niekerk was motoring along at 35 runs from 26 balls. Sadly, she was forced to retire hurt. By then, South Africa had made 79-1 from 10 overs. Lara Goodall and Marizanne Kapp maintained the run-rate before Oshadi Ranasinghe, back for her third over, dismissed Kapp for 19 runs from 13 balls.

Another good partnership (43 runs) between Goodall (35 runs from 30 balls) and Sune Luus took South Africa to 153 with one over to go. The partnership ended when Goodall was caught by the Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu off the bowling of Kavisha Dilhari, who was brought in today in the place of Udeshika Prabodhani.

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Skipper van Niekerk returned in the final over at the fall of Goodall’s wicket. Luus, fresh from her match-winning exploits in the previous match, threatened to take the game away from Sri Lanka yet again. But she was run out by Harshitha Madavi/Athapaththu to depart for 26 runs from 15 balls. 

Next, van Niekerk, who didn’t add much to her total, was dismissed by Athapaththu for 38 runs from 29 balls. South Africa ended up with a score of 163-5 – a par score considering the average first innings score at the ground is 167.

Sri Lanka’s chase began ominously. Opener Weerakkody was dismissed by Kapp for a duck on the second ball of the innings. Sri Lanka struggled to score, collecting just 9 runs in 4 overs. An 11-run Masabata Klaas over and a 13-run over by Tumi Sekhukhune helped ease the pressure. 33 runs were scored in the Powerplay.

Hasini Perera (13 from 24) was bowled by Nadine de Klerk. Athapaththu provided impetus to the innings before she was herself bowled by Shabnim Ismail for 43 runs from 36 balls. Madavi soon followed her skipper to the pavilion when she was caught and bowled by Luus for 11 runs from 13 balls.

With 5 overs to go, Sri Lanka still needed 74 runs more – a tall ask. They needed Imalka Mendis and Siriwardene to step up. However, de Klerk first removed Mendis (6 runs from 9 balls) and then Nilakshi de Silva (0 from 1) in the same over to dent Sri Lanka’s hopes severely. 

Klaas bagged Siriwardene’s wicket (29 from 20) and dashed Sri Lanka’s sliver of a chance. They needed 44 from the final over. The game was all but over. Dilhari was dismissed by Ismail on the final ball of the innings and South completed a clean sweep. Luus was adjudged the Player of the Match once again for her all-round performance while van Niekerk won the Player of the Series award.

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