Skipper Mathews seals first SL win in 2nd T 20 to redeem lost pride


Brief Scores :
Sri Lanka 119 for 7 19.4 overs( Dickwella 22 (4x5) Chandimal 22 Mathews 54* 4x1,6x3), Ngidi 4-16) beat South Africa113 all out in 19.3 overs Kuhn 29,Behardeen 27 (Sandakan 4-23, Udara 3-13) by three wickets Angelo Mathews held Sri Lanka's chase together with an unbeaten 54

It has taken over a month but Sri Lanka were finally made to feel welcome in South Africa on an unusually cracked, dry Wanderers surface and they made themselves completely at home. They earned their first win on the tour and levelled the three-match series by bowling South Africa out for their third-lowest score in a T20, lowest against Sri Lanka and lowest in Wanderers in Johannesburg .
Skipper Angelow Mathews who was the “Player of the Match” twisted his ankle with seven balls to go in the chase and is expected to be out for a "couple of weeks". He could not run between the wickets at the end, but saw Sri Lanka to victory with two last-over sixes.
In contrast to the conventional loom he took in the Tests, Mathews set attacking fields against an over-eager South Africa line-up and got the results he wanted, especially for Lakshan Sandakan. The left-arm wrist spinner claimed four wickets on debut and did his bit to bewilder the hosts, who played as though they were expecting the usual bounce and carry and did not adjust to the slower pace of the pitch.Sandakan captured four wickets with a first ball wicket in his debut T 20 match.Isuru Udana a seasoned campaigner, a medium pacer captured three vital wickets.
South Africa sensed an opportunity to squeeze Sri Lanka, despite them having their two most experienced batsmen at the crease in Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal did not find the boundary for six overs while Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso operated in tandem and the required run rate rose.Three more partners deserted the captain Mathews as Sri Lanka needed nine runs off the last eight balls before Mathews himself showed signs of strain. He raced through for a leg-bye but had to put in a dive after rolling his ankle, and then had to stand and deliver the result. Skipper Angelow Mathews secured the win with a six.
The third and deciding T 20 is to be played in Cape Town on the 25th instant.
Sunil Thenabadu

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