At Johannesburg, January 22, 2012. Sri Lanka won by two wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka's batsmen achieved their second-highest successful run-chase in one-day internationals (after knocking off 322 at Headingley in their 2006 whitewash of England). It was only the second time a side had run down 300 or more in successive matches; New Zealand had done it to Australia in 2006-07. South Africa's attack could not contain the assault from the Sri Lankan batsmen, which started with Tharanga, was held together by Sangakkara's silken century, and ended with Thirimanne's masterful 69. Sri Lanka lurched from 275 for three to 308 for eight, with Peterson taking two wickets in the final over, but Sachithra Senanayake slog-swept the penultimate ball for six to ensure against a choke. South Africa would have fancied their chances of defending 312. Smith muzzled the critics with an innings that grew in confidence and composure to record his first one-day international century since the 2009 Champions Trophy, and de Villiers matched his former captain. Their 186-run stand was the highest in one-dayers between the two countries.
Man of the Match: K. C. Sangakkara.
Man of the Series: A. B. de Villiers.