Cape Town – An outstanding four-wicket haul by Lahiru Madushanka played a pivotal role as Sri Lanka Emerging won the One-Day Triangular Series by comfortably beating University Sports South Africa (USSA) by eight wickets in the final in Pretoria on Sunday.
The medium-pacer took four for 35 in 10 superb overs to restrict the hosts to 180 for seven, before Pathum Nissanka’s unbeaten 84 (108 balls, 7 fours, 2 sixes) guided the tourists to victory with more than 12 overs to spare.
It was a clinical display by the Asian side, who have been the stand-out side in the competition and they again showed their strength at the LC De Villiers Oval.
USSA, surprise qualifiers for the final at the expense of South Africa Emerging, lost the toss and were asked to bat first in the decisive game, but struggled from the outset.
They slipped to 49 for four by the 18th over, before the impressive Delano Potgieter (52 off 88 balls, 3 fours) and top-scorer Reuben Herman, who hit a gutsy unbeaten 63 off 93 balls, 2 fours), added 75 for the fifth wicket to give their side hope.
Madushanka, though, claimed three of the next three wickets to fall as the Sri Lankans kept things tight at the death to restrict USSA to a modest target of 181.
The outstanding Nissanka scored an unbeaten century in the previous game and he was again the man to hold things together for the visiting side.
He put on 56 with Sandun Weerakkody (26) for the first wicket and then added 85 with Kamindu Mendis (40) for wicket number two. The finishing touches were then provided by Charith Asalanka (29 not out) – Sri Lanka cruising home with 74 balls to spare.
The away side will now have three days off before facing SA Emerging in the first of two four-day matches starting in Potchefstroom on Thursday.