Kimberly: Sri Lanka at last defeated South Africa in a high scoring game by 5 wickets. Skipper Dilshan showed some signs of coming back into form by scoring 87 runs.
Having lost the three previous matches of the series, the visitors were staring at an embarrassing end to their tour of South Africa.
But they belatedly sprung to life in Kimberley, overhauling South Africa’s tricky total of 299 with eight balls remaining.
Batting first, the hosts began positively after a first-wicket partnership of 84 between Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen.
The latter’s exit did not seem to upset the Proteas, who moved to 171 before Lasith Malinga had Smith caught by Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Regular wickets from the 38th over stymied South Africa’s attempts to build a bigger score, but AB de Villiers’ 96 looked to have spurred his side on to a defendable total.
That looked on track when Lonwabo Tsotsobe claimed the scalp of Sri Lanka opener Upul Tharanga in the third over, but Kumar Sangakkara combined with Dilshan to steady the innings.
Dilshan reached 87 before his removal at 168 in the 28th over, with the likes of Dinesh Chandimal (59) and Thisara Perera (69) driving Sri Lanka towards their total.
Tsotsobe finished with 3-51 but could not halt his opponents, who reached their target thanks to Perera’s six off the bowling of JP Duminy in the 48th over – ensuring Sri Lanka claimed the highest score at De Beers Diamond Oval in the process.
Sri Lanka will look to add further respectability in the fifth and final match of the series, on Saturday (local time).
Courtesy: Cricket Australia
Result: Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets.
Man Of The Match: Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka).