SA 141/4 (38.2 overs)
Mignon du Preez 61* (87) Inoka Ranaweera 23-3 (10)
SL 139/10 (44.2 overs)
Anushka Sanjeewani 28 (65), Harshitha Madavi 22 (30) Sune Luus 30-4 (8), Nadine de Klerk 30-2 (10)
By 6 wickets
A listless batting performance completed a winless tour for Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. Set an easy target of 139, South Africa romped home in 38.2 overs with 4 wickets to spare.
On winning the toss (a clean sweep for Sri Lanka in that department), Sri Lanka opted to bat first. After two failures in chasing, this was a chance to apply some scoreboard pressure.
Sri Lanka were off to a bad start in the very first over. Skipper Chamari Athapaththu edged to the keeper off Shabnim Ismail’s bowling to depart for a golden duck. Prasadani Weerakkody and Anushka Sanjeewani were kept quiet by good bowling by Ismail and Marizanne Kapp. They scored just 17 runs in seven overs.
Seeing a short and wide ball by Kapp, Weerakkody eagerly jumped at the opportunity to score some cheap runs. But she could only manage to guide the ball to backward point and was caught by Mignon du Preez for 8 runs from 25 balls.
By the end of the Powerplay Sri Lanka were 25-2. Sanjeewani and Hasini Perera stitched a 43-run partnership to take Sri Lanka to 60 before Sanjeewani edged Nadine de Klerk to the keeper. She top-scored with 28 runs from 65 balls.
Perera (15 from 44) followed soon after, dismissed by a full-toss delivery from Sune Luus. Faye Tunnicliffe took her third catch of the match when she caught a thick outside edge from Shashikala Siriwardene (5 off 16) off Luus’s bowling.
Luus snapped up her third wicket when she induced a top edge from Nilakshi de Silva (9 from 30). She got her 4th wicket when she clean bowled Harshitha Madavi for 22. It was happy bowling outing for the stand-in skipper. At that stage Sri Lanka were 109-7. Kavisha Dilhari(16* from 30) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (12 from 19) put up some semblance of a resistance when they forged a 22-run partnership to take Sri Lanka to 130.
Then the last three wickets fell in a heap. Ranasinghe was clean bowled by de Klerk while debutant Tharika Sewwandi was run out for 1 run from 2 balls in the same over. Inoka Ranaweera was dismissed caught-out by Masabata Klaas for 1 run from 5 balls. Sri Lanka were all out for 139 in 44.2 overs.
South Africa began the chase watchfully. Ranaweera was rewarded for some tight bowling when when she had Laura Wolvaardt caught out for 6 runs from 16 balls, and Andrie Steyn inside-edging for 16 runs from 28 balls.
A 50-run partnership between Lara Goodall and du Preez steadied the slightly wobbling South African ship before Goodall was run out for 25 runs from 45 balls. Luus was clean-bowled for 5 in the next over and Ranaweera had her third wicket of the match.
Despite these breakthroughs, South Africa were never in danger due to the small target. A 58-run partnership between du Preez and de Klerk (20* from 44) guided South Africa home comfortably. Along the way du Preez got to her 14th ODI half-century to remain not out at 61 runs from 87 balls. She was adjudged the Player of the Match.
South Africa are now 3rd in the ICC Women’s Championship table while Sri Lanka languish at the 8th place.