On 8th of August, we saw a cliffhanger between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Pallekele Sri Lanka which eventually ended in favour of hosts. The rain hit match was reduced to 39 overs per side and everybody in the stadium knew that they were up for some firecrackers. It was a packed house and you could see a large number of fans dressed in navy coming in support of the home team.
Sri Lanka batted first on a very good batting wicket, they started really well and the openers put up a partnership of 61 runs for the first wicket. Both Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga got starts but couldn't convert them into big scores. Sri Lanka lost a couple of quick wickets before Kusal Parera steadied their drowning boat and compiled a solid half century but Sri Lanka kept loosing wickets at the other end and eventually Kusal Parera fell too.
Sri Lanka lost 6 wickets on a score of 195 before Thisara Parera and Dasun Shanaka joined hands and took on South African attack aggressively. Dasun Shanaka in particular teared apart the Proteas attack and made a quick fire 65 off 34 only which included 5 maximums. Thisara Parera also made a valuable 51. Sri Lanka ended on 306-7 in the alloted 39 overs.
None of the South African bowlers were impressive apart from the part timer J P Duminy who returned with impressive figures of 6 for 35 in 6 overs, Ngidi also chipped in with a couple of wickets.
South Africa needed 307 in 39 overs but the innings was reduced to only 21 overs because rain interrupted the play again. They came out all guns blazing with both the openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton deKock attacking from the ball one. In the process of being aggressive deCock lost his wicket early in the innings and was followed by the centurion of the previous match, Reza Hendricks who didn't trouble the scorers much.
There was some respite for the South African fans when Duminy and Amla were at the crease but Amla fell soon in search of some quick runs for a well made 40. Duminy would have been the man for South Africa if they had to win the match but his run out proved the turning point of the game despite of the fact that Miller hit some blows during the end. As a result South Africa lost by just three runs making 187 in 21 overs.
For Sri Lanka, Thisara Parera impressed again in the bowling department and took 2-32 in 4 overs. Suranga Lakmal took 3 wickets for Sri Lanka but proved very expensive.