South Africa 49-0 (Brits 21*, Bosch 20*) beat Sri Lanka 46 (Athapaththu 15, de Klerk 3-7) by 10 wickets
South Africa ended an eight-match losing streak, and five in the T20I format, with an emphatic win in their last outing of a long England tour. They finished third in Group B at the Commonwealth Games, and will not feature in the medal matches. Sri Lanka have been left at the bottom of the points table, with losses in all three of their group games and much work to do ahead of qualifiers for next year’s T20 World Cup, specifically in their batting.
Overall, they had the lowest aggregate score across the group stage of all teams in the tournament, including Barbados, who did not cross 100 in two innings. Sri Lanka scored 106 for 9 against England, 102 for 8 against New Zealand and 46 in this match to total 254. Barbados scored 270 in the tournament.
With not many to chase, South Africa eased their way to an incident-free victory in 6.1 overs, their first win since beating Ireland on June 17.
Ismail strikes upfront again
Ismail removed Sophia Dunkley with a pinpoint yorker off her first delivery two days ago, and struck with her opening ball again today. It was not quite as testing a ball, on a length and angling away from Hasini Perera, who had not opened the batting at the tournament in the previous two games. Perera played a waspy drive, without moving her feet at all, and got a thick edge that carried to Sinalo Jafta for a comfortable catch. Harshita Patel went the same way in the next over, as she tried to carve Klaas through the off side but did not give herself enough room and edged behind. Sri Lanka were 1 for 2 after eight balls.
Redemption for Nadine De Klerk
De Klerk missed South Africa’s first Commonwealth Games match and bowled two overs for 34 runs in their second, so it’s safe to say things hadn’t gone according to plan. But she roared back to take a wicket with her first ball in the third fixture and finish with a double-wicket maiden off her first over to leave Sri Lanka in tatters. She was also tasked with bowling the last over of the powerplay and started with an innocuous, full, wide ball. Anushka Sanjeewani drove hard and should have beat Mignon du Preez at cover point but South Africa’s most experienced player showed the value of her years. She launched herself forward and took a spectacular catch with both hands to give de Klerk her first wicket.
At the end of the over, new batter Nilakshi de Silva advanced down the track to hit de Klerk over her head but handed her a simple return catch instead. Sri Lanka finished the powerplay on 12 for 4, the lowest of the Commonwealth Games. De Klerk went on to claim a third wicket in her next over, when she got the ball to swing in to Kavisha Dilhari, who drove loosely, missed and ended up with her legstump out of the ground. De Klerk ended with figures of 3 for 7, the best of her career.
Athapaththu’s tournament ends without a bang
Apart from carrying the flag at the opening ceremony, Athapaththu had a tournament to forget with only 25 runs from three innings. She stood batter alone as the top six fell around her but as the halfway stage of the Sri Lankan innings approached, with only 27 runs on the board, she decided to take on the bowling. Though Klaas was not bowling particularly short, Athapaththu swiveled around her back foot but didn’t get enough on the stroke and top-edged to give Klaas an easy catch. Klaas was included in South Africa’s XI in place of Ayabonga Khaka and finished with 2 for 7.
Brits, Bosch show glimpses of what could be
Lizelle Lee’s absence has stalked South Africa over the past few weeks. Their top order struggled and the team has been unsure how to deal with questions around her retirement, but there are some signed they are moving on. Tazmin Brits and Anneke Bosch showed glimpses of settling into the opening berths, put on 64 in 9.1 overs against England and ensured the chase against Sri Lanka was clinical and quick. They were barely challenged by a demoralised Sri Lankan attack but timed the ball well and found gaps at will. They hit five boundaries and scored at a decent rate to end the match one ball after the powerplay.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent