PRETORIA: Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen impressed with the bat as a much-changed South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by 16 runs to seal the Twenty20 International series at Centurion Park on Friday.
Sri Lanka sent their hosts in to bat but battled to contain the home side as Hendricks (65) and Van der Dussen (64) put on 116 in 76 balls for the second wicket with South Africa making 180 for three in their 20 overs.
The two batsmen are likely fighting over one position in South Africa’s 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales that starts on May 30, with the less experienced Van der Dussen’s ability to clear the boundary potentially giving him the edge.
Sri Lanka looked down and out in their reply at 83 for seven, but a master-class in hitting from all-rounder Isuru Udana (84 not out from 48 balls) kept them in the match until the final over before they were restricted to 164 for nine.
The home side have won all seven limited-overs matches on Sri Lanka’s tour and sealed the Twenty20 series 2-0 with the third and final fixture to be played in Johannesburg on Sunday.
South Africa rested a number of key players, including captain Faf du Plessis, in-form batsman Quinton de Kock and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, and handed a debut to 20-year-old wicketkeeper Sinethemba Qeshile.