Sri Lanka thrashed South Africa in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) to seal the series 2-1 on Tuesday. Debutant spinner Maheesh Theekshana lit up the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to help his team register a massive 78-run victory over the Proteas.
Theekshana picked up a four-wicket haul for just 37 runs in his quota of 10 overs as the hosts bundled out the Keshav Maharaj-led side for a mere 125 runs. The right-armer sent back the likes of Janneman Malan (18), Heinrich Klaasen (22), Kagiso Rabada (8) and Maharaj (15) to complete his four wickets in the game.
Apart from Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera bagged a couple of scalps each. While Hasaranga picked up two wickets for 32 runs in 8 overs, Chameera conceded 16 runs in 4 overs to bag two scalps.
Earlier, the Islanders posted 203/9 on the scoreboard in their allotted 50 overs. Charith Asalanka was the top scorer for his team, contributing 47 runs off 71 balls with the help of two boundaries. Dhananjaya de Silva (31) and Chameera (29) also made valuable runs to take their team to a competitive total.
For the visitors, Maharaj (3/38) picked up three wickets while George Linde (2/32) and Tabraiz Shamsi (2/31) bagged a couple of scalps each.
Chameera was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his all-round (29 runs with the bat and 2 wickets with the ball) contribution in the game. Similarly, Asalanka was chosen as ‘Player of the Series’ for finishing the series as leading run-getter. He made 196 runs in three ODIs at an impressive average of 65.33 with two half-centuries.
“Always nice to be man of the series in an international tournament. My first. Made a plan to work singles, enjoyed that. My role in the team is to bat longer. Were looking at 230-240. After Hasaranga got out, I felt 210 was a good score on this pitch,” said Asalanka after the match.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) September 7, 2021
— Thisara perera (@PereraThisara) September 7, 2021
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) September 7, 2021
What a Perfomance by the boys ! Mahesh theekshana what a debut @Wanindu49 @DuSh_Chameera @Avishka28 charith asalanka had a fabulous series @dasunshanaka1 wel led and all others contributed towards the series win👏 let’s win the t20 series!
— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) September 7, 2021
Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean. 🇱🇰♥️
-Ryunosuke Satoro pic.twitter.com/AfPZa0Mq3O
— Dasun Shanaka (@dasunshanaka1) September 7, 2021
— 𝑫𝒊𝒎𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝑲𝒂𝒓𝒖𝒏𝒂𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒏𝒂 (@IamDimuth) September 7, 2021
Congratulations @OfficialSLC for winning the ODI series. Well batted charith again and @DushmanthaDC05 , mahesh brilliant with the bowl. Awesome team work guys 👏👏 @dasunshanaka1 @chandi_17 @Dhananjaya7575 @akilad04 @Wanindu49 @chaminda_vaas #SLvSA
— Upul Tharanga (@upultharanga44) September 7, 2021
Congratulations to @dasunshanaka1 and the team on an excellent series win. A hard fought no doubt, highlighted by a super team effort.
— Roshan Abeysinghe (@RoshanCricket) September 7, 2021
What a fantastic series win for the @OfficialSLC boys, hard fought effort by all, so many good performance by individuals but one man stoodout from the rest,charith asalanka was simply outstanding in all 3 games and deservingly man of the tournament, #SLvSA congratulations boys
— Chamara Kapugedara (@chamarakapu) September 7, 2021
Massive series win and confidence boost for the upcoming major tournament⭐️ Heading in the right direction.. Weldon to everyone involved 🥂🥳 Winning is definitely a good habit to get used to!! @OfficialSLC keep rocking lads😀
— Angelo Perera (@angiperera) September 7, 2021
Maheesh Theekshana becomes the first Sri Lanka spinner to take a four-wicket haul on men's ODI debut and he was the fourth Sri Lankan who picks up maiden wicket with first ball in international cricket. #LKA #SLvSA #SriLanka pic.twitter.com/5xRppjvjQN
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 💉 (@SriLankaTweet) September 7, 2021
Ajantha Mendis updated version.
— Zeeshan Qayyum (@XeeshanQayyum) September 8, 2021