Reeza Hendricks scored a century on debut as South Africa took an unassailable 3-0 lead in their ODI series against Sri Lanka. With the stage moving from Dambulla to Pallekele, the Proteas decided to make one change, with the out of form Aiden Markram replaced by Lions batsman Hendricks.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Matthews won the toss and inserted the Proteas in on a good wicket, a decision that backfired badly for the hosts.
Quinton de Kock made only 2, but his opening partner Hashim Amla was in fine nick, and the veteran along with Hendricks took the score to 100 in the 16th over.
Sri Lanka got Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis in quick succession, but JP Duminy, who has been in fine form this season, stitched together a 78 run stand with Hendricks, who was dismissed by a beauty of a delivery from Lahiru Kumara after reaching his century.
Duminy however ensured that Hendricks’ dismissal did not affect South Africa’s momentum, and the Proteas plundered 114 runs in the final ten overs as Sri Lanka’s bowling fell apart at the death.
The Lankans were always going to be up against it, and although several of their batsmen got starts, nobody really pushed on. The seventh wicket partnership between Dhananjaya de Silva and Akila Dananjaya briefly raised hopes of a stunning upset, but once De Silva was caught behind by De Kock (an excellent review from stand in skipper QDK, who took over the reigns after Faf du Plessis injured his shoulder), those hopes faded, with the home side eventually bowled out for 285.
For most of their innings, Sri Lanka were ahead of South Africa’s score at the corresponding stage, but lack of wickets put paid to their aspirations.
The fourth ODI will again be held in Pallekelle (August 8)
South Africa (363/7) beat Sri Lanka 285 all out (MOTM Hendricks)