South Africa capture series with 3-0 lead
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman AB de Villiers got his first ODI series win as Captain when South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 4 runs in the third ODI at Bloemfontein on Tuesday according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Royal Challengers Bangalore opener and Sri Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan got off to a quite start, making his first runs in the ODI series after his ducks in the first two matches.
He and his partner Upul Tharanga took SL to 94 in the 19th over when Tharanga was dismissed on 58. Dilshan soon followed for an uncharacteristic 33 off 49 balls with just two fours, top edging a sweep off Duminy to Steyn at deep backward square leg.
The rest of the Sri Lankan batsmen got starts but none managed to convert them into bigger scores as SA’s bowlers struck regularly, not allowing partnerships to build as SL posted 266/9 in their 50 overs.
The out of form former captain Graeme Smith went early to kickstart Sri Lanka’s defense, playing across to Malinga to be bowled. Hashim Amla’s replacement, Colin Ingram was done in by a slower Yorker from Malinga, taking SA to 29/2 in the seventh over. Tillakaratne Dilshan got into the act, getting Alviro Peterson lbw with his first ball of the game in the 13th over as SA were further reduced to 52/3.
Faf du Plessis, promoted ahead of himself by de Villiers and JP Duminy combined to add 61 steadily accumulated runs for the fourth wicket. du Plessis brought up his half century and the duo were well set to accelerate when Duminy was controversially run out. Different camera angles suggested different results before Duminy was given out by the third umpire.
AB de Villiers walked in with SA at 104/4 in the 24th over. The asking rate mounting, du Plessis and de Villiers added a run a ball 33 run partnership before the former was run out on 72, responding to the captain’s call for a quick single.
The threat of rain had presented itself and the South Africans were behind the par score according to the Duckworth-Lewis method by a narrow margin, their problems compounded by brilliant, choking fielding from the Sri Lankans. de Villiers released the pressure somewhat in the 32nd over, smashing Kosala Kulasekara for three boundaries while Albie Morkel kept rotating the strike.
At the beginning of the 34th over with it about to pour at any moment, SA were 171/5, two behind the par score. The duo not just managed to negate Lasith Malinga but also ran hard to take 8 runs off the over, squeezing dipping yorkers into gaps as SA finished the over at 179/5 after which the players went off the field.
The runs proved to be more than enough a while later when it was decided that play could not be resumed, the South Africans were past the par score by 4 runs. AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel’s 32 run partnership in the last 5 overs helped them get past.
With his ultimately decisive 39* off 36 balls, AB de Villiers had sealed his first ODI series win as captain of the ODI team, consigning his RCB teammate Tillakaratne Dilshan and SA counterpart to defeat.