Debutant spinner Maheesh Theekshana claimed four wickets as Sri Lanka hammered South Africa by 78 runs in the third one-day international to clinch the series 2-1 on Tuesday.
Theekshana, an off-spinner with a lethal carrom ball, returned figures of 4-37 as the hosts bowled out South Africa for 125 in 30 overs while chasing a target of 204 in Colombo.
The 21-year-old Theekshana made an instant impact with a wicket of his first delivery in international cricket as he sent opener Janneman Malan trudging back for 18.
Rain then stopped play briefly.
He then cut short wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen’s innings on 22 to further dent the Proteas chase.
Andile Phehlukwayo, who made 17, and George Linde, who scored 18, put up some resistence with a partnership of 36 for the seventh wicket.
Theekshana combined with leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who took two wickets to polish off the tail with 20 overs remaining in the innings.
Pace bowler Dushmantha Chameera took two early wickets including Reeza Hendricks, for one, and Rassie van der Dussen, for five, to rattle the South African top-order.
Earlier skipper Keshav Maharaj took three wickets as Sri Lanka made 203 for nine.
Charith Asalanka top-scored with 47 and Chameera, coming in at number nine, hit a useful 29.
Maharaj struck first, getting Avishka Fernando lbw for 10, and returned figures of 3-38 with his left-arm spin. Fellow spinners George Linde and Tabraiz Shamsi claimed two wickets each.
South Africa successfully reviewed the openers’ wickets in their favour after Fernando and Dinesh Chandimal, out lbw for nine off left-arm orthodox Linde, were given not out by the on-field umpires.
Spinners kept striking as Aiden Markram sent back Dhananjaya de Silva for 31 and Maharaj got two including skipper Dasun Shanaka and Hasaranga as Sri Lanka slipped to 121-6.
Asalanka survived a reprieve on 36 when he was caught at mid-wicket off Linde but the delivery was adjudged a no ball with more fielders outside the inner circle than allowed.
Shamsi, a left-arm wrist spinner, finally got Asalanka caught behind to deny the left-hand batsman a half-century.
The two sides will now play three Twenty20 internationals starting Friday at the same venue.
© Agence France-Presse
Photo: Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images/Getty Images
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