Du Plessis stars as South Africa beat Sri Lanka to clinch ODI series

Zeenews Sports Bureau

Bloemfontein: South Africa beat Sri Lanka by four runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method in the third one-day international in Bloemfontein to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

It was a match that saw Du Plessis become a star as his vital 72 became the bane for the Lankans. The other crucial point of the match was when two crucial run outs slowed Sri Lanka`s momentum in the third one-day international against South Africa at Chevrolet Park.

Sri Lanka, trailing 0-2 in the five-match series, made a competitive 266 for nine but it might have been considerably higher if their two star batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, had not been run out, both by direct hits.

Upul Tharanga (58) and captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) put on 94 for the first wicket. Sangakkara, batting at number three, looked set to take full advantage of the good start on an easy-paced pitch as he stroked his way to 38 off 37 balls.

But Sangakkara fell to a superb piece of fielding by Faf du Plessis, who dived far to his left at backward point to stop a cut by Dinesh Chandimal, then hit the stumps at the batsman`s end with Sangakkara stranded after the batsmen hesitated.

Jayawardene was run out for 15, four balls into the batting powerplay in the 36th over, when he was sent back by Chandimal, slipped as he turned and could not recover to beat an accurate throw from Colin Ingram at mid-off.

Chandimal was out for 36 three overs later when he mistimed a pull against Morne Morkel and was caught at mid-off.

Scores: Sri Lanka 266 for nine off 50 overs; South Africa 179 for five off 34 overs.