Sune Luus took 5/14 and Dane van Niekerk hit a quick fire 33 of 19 to lead The Proteas to a 2-wicket victory in the second T20I with one ball remaining at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The Proteas took 2-0 unassailable lead with one T20 International to come at Supersport Park in Centurion.
Luus who was initially dropped for the tour but recalled to replace the injured Chloe Tryon made use of the opportunity as she bow away the Sri Lankan batting unit with excellent spin bowling as the visitors could only manage to score 104 in 19.4 overs.
Shashikala Siriwardene was the top scorer for Sri Lanka with 38 of 33 balls followed by the captain Chamari Atapattu with 20 of 29 balls. The experienced pair of Siriwardene and Atapattu also took two wicket apiece but it was in vain as they were on the losing side.
The Proteas started their run chase of 105 on a high note with Dane van Niekerk hitting two fours in the first over. Playing the role of the aggressor, van Niekerk hit the Sri Lanka bowlers to all corners of the Bullring but Kulasuriya had the last laugh when she caught and bowled the Proteas captain for a quick 33 of 19 balls in the 4th over.
With the Proteas off to a flying start on 35-1 after four overs, the Sri Lankan bowling unit fought back hard as they removed Tazmin Brits 10 (15), Marizanne Kapp 7 (12) and Luus 4 (7) cheaply to leave the home side in problem on 60-4 at the end of the 11th over.
The inexperienced and young South African batter Lara Goodall played a little cameo of 17 before she lost her wicket to Siriwardene.
The Proteas kept on losing wickets at regular intervals with Saarah Smith 4 (13), Faye Tunnicliffe 9 (7) and Ismail losing their wickets in succession as Sri Lanka looked set for victory. The game went down the final over with The Proteas needing 8 off 6. Nadine de Klerk who was recently added to the Proteas squad stepped up and hit the winning wins for her side in what was a close game.
The Proteas won the toss and chose to field first. That proved to have been a good decision as Kapp struck in the first over of the day when she removed Hasini Perera for 1 and in her second, dismissing Anushka Sanjeewani for 6.
Sub-continental teams usually struggle to adjust to the quick and bouncy Wanderers pitch and Sri Lanka isn’t the exception as were 11-2 in the first four overs of the match. Imalka Mendis and Captain Chamari Atapattu offered some resistance with their 30 run partnership before Tumi Sekhukhune had Attapattu caught at deep mid-wicket by Kapp for a decent 20 (29).
At the half way mark, the visitors were 43-3 with the Proteas bowlers keeping things tight. Mendis alongside Siriwardena took the attack to the home side’s bowlers when they combined for a stand of 49 playing with Siriwardena the aggressor. Luus who replaced for Mignon du Preez was in the mood as she struck twice in the 16th over to send both Siriwardene 38 (33) and Mendis 12 (21) back to the pavilion as they were set to take the game away from the side.
Luus was at it again when she dismissed Thimashini for 7(6) with Sekhukhune taking a stunning catch at long on diving full length. Two balls later Nilakshi de Silva was stumped for 4 (8) by Tunnicliffe of the bowling off Luus.
The Proteas fire was burning as they took three wickets in the space of eight balls with Udeshika Prabodhani (0) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (1) getting run out in the 19th over and Luus taking the final wicket of Ranaweera to leave Sri Lanka all out for 105 in 19.4 overs.
The third and final T20 International will take place on the 6th of February at Supersport Park with the Proteas looking for a whitewash.