The Sri Lankan team finally got their act together and emerged victorious in the ODI series in Pallekele as they defeated South Africa by 3 runs on the D/L Method in a dead rubber.
Quinton De Kock was handed over the reigns for the final two matches, after their regular skipper Faf Du Plessis was ruled out owing to a shoulder injury.
The opening pair of Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga gave the team a solid start.
However they couldn’t capitalise on the start, as they lost wickets in the middle stages and the momentum was halted.
But half centuries from Shanaka, Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera propelled their side to a mammoth score of 306/7 in their alloted 39 overs.
Lungi Ngidi and JP Duminy claimed two wickets each.
South Africa’s chase was interrupted by rain after 2 overs. They were set a target of 191 runs in 21 overs.
They managed to get 2 wickets in quick succession after the break to peg back the home team.
The pair of JP Duminy and Hashim Amla kept their nerves, and staged a fight back by putting on 57 runs for the third wicket to bring their team on track.
But some excellent work in the field by the Sri Lankan fielders, helped them back into the contest.
Captain Mathews held on to a brilliant catch in the covers to send back Heinrich Klaasen while Dasun Shanaka’s direct hit sent Duminy packing.
In the last over, Lakmal got rid of David Miller and defended 7 runs in the final over to guide his team to an emphatic victory.
South Africa lead the five-match series 3-1.
The two teams will now square off on August 12 for the final one dayer.