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September 20, 2008
Sri Lanka A 274 for 6 (Mathews 70, Kandamby 67, Tharanga 56) beat South Africa A 271 (Khan 61, Petersen 60) by 3 runs
Ishara Amerasinghe's five-wicket haul narrowly gave Sri Lanka A victory in the first unofficial one-day international against hosts South Africa A at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. South Africa, chasing 275, needed seven runs from the final over, but Amerasinghe struck with the first and fourth balls to deny them victory by three runs.
South Africa were given a steady, if unspectacular, start. Imraan Khan and Heino Kuhn, who earlier took four catches behind the stumps, added 57 before Kuhn departed in the 13th over. Khan and Alviro Petersen, South Africa's captain, then took the score to 107 when Amerasinghe removed Khan for 61. That became 107 for 3 when Amerasinghe sent Henry Davids back a first-ball duck. With the asking rate increasing Petersen started hitting out - Gihan Rupasinghe's single over went for 21 runs - but once Dilruwan Perera dismissed him for 60 from 62 balls, Sri Lanka were in with a solid chance.
Vaughn van Jaarsveld (29) fell shortly after his captain, and the battle swung both ways through a few small partnerships down the order and further strikes from Amerasinghe. In the end, however, the Sri Lankan fast bowler held his nerve to clinch a tense win. Juan Theron (22) was bowled on the first ball of the 50th over, and Thandi Tshabalala was given out lbw for 11 three balls later, as Amerasinghe finished with 5 for 44. These are his best limited-overs figures.
Sri Lanka's total of 274 came down to half-centuries from Upul Tharanga (56), captain Thilina Kandamby (67) and Angelo Mathews (70). Sri Lanka lost two early wickets after opting to bat, but Tharanga and Kandamby added 67 and later Kandamby put on 64 with Mathews. Wayne Parnell, who captained South Africa Under-19 to the World Cup final earlier this year, returned the most economical figures of 2 for 45.
Sri Lanka lead the five-match series 1-0. The second match is on September 21 in Pietermaritzburg.
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