South Africa A v Sri Lanka A, 3rd Test, Benoni, 4th day September 14, 2008

South Africa A clinch series with draw

Cricinfo staff

South Africa A 550 (Davids 101, Puttick 91, Petersen 86, Amla 81) and 185 for 7 dec (Puttick 52, Welegedara 3-56) drew with Sri Lanka A 395 (Kandamby 128, Paranavitana 73, Bandara 63, Louw 4-63) and 95 for 5 (Tsotsobe 4-35)

South Africa A failed to win at the Willowmore Park in Benoni, but the draw meant a 1-0 triumph for the hosts in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka A. South Africa held the upper hand for the best part of the final game, but perhaps their decision not to enforce the follow-on on Sunday hampered their chances of a win.

Resuming on 28 for 1 in their second innings, South Africa lost wickets regularly and finally declared at 185 for 7 after 47 overs were bowled in the day. Opener Andrew Puttick, the leading run-getter in the series, top scored with 52 as Sri Lanka were set an improbable 341. Alviro Petersen and Johann Louw scored useful 30s, while No. 3 Henry Davids made 25. Chanaka Welegedara was the most successful bowler, taking 3 for 56, and offspinner Dilruwan Perera finished with 2 for 55 off his 18 overs.

Sri Lanka started shakily in their chase, with three batsmen out with just 18 runs scored. The damage was done by the opening bowlers Louw and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. A 76-run stand between wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva and captain Thilina Kandamby, who scored 128 in the first innings, steadied the innings. Tsotsobe then struck off successive deliveries to remove Silva and Angelo Mathews, but the match ended with Sri Lanka at 95 for 5 after 27 overs.

Puttick, who scored 444 runs in five innings with two hundreds and two fifties, was named the Man of the Series. The teams will now play a five-match one-day series, which starts at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, on September 19. Sri Lanka A play a warm-up game in Pretoria on the 17th.