Bloemfontein: Two crucial run outs slowed Sri Lanka`s momentum in the third one-day international against South Africa at Chevrolet Park on Tuesday.
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.
With the leading batsmen dismissed, Nuwan Kulasekera survived a simple chance to captain and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers off Dale Steyn when he had two. He went on to make a valuable 40 off 38 balls.
The left-handed Tharanga dominated the opening stand with Dilshan and reached a stylish 50 when Dilshan, who failed to score in the first two matches, was on 18.
Tharanga made his 58 off 65 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Dilshan, who had less of the strike during the partnership, scored 33 off 49 balls with two fours.