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South Africa A 222 for 7 (Elgar 86*, Bodi 66) beat Sri Lanka A 218 for 5 (Silva 81, Mathews 53, Kandamby 51, Abdullah 3-36) by three wickets
Free State batsman Dean Elgar's unbeaten 86 helped South Africa A clinch a close three-wicket win against Sri Lanka A to level the series in the second one-dayer at the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg. After their bowlers had restricted Sri Lanka to 218 for 5, South Africa achieved victory with ten balls to spare.
Although the target wasn't of daunting proportions, South Africa weren't comfortably placed for the most part of their chase, with wickets falling at regular intervals. They lost three wickets for 33 runs after an opening stand of 36, and it was left to Gulam Bodi and 21-year-old Elgar to revive the innings with a partnership of 60. However, after Bodi was caught for 66 by Tharanga Paranavitana off medium-pacer Suranga Lakmal, South Africa were jolted thrice in quick succession. Ishara Amerasinghe struck twice - he had Vaughn van Jaarsveld caught behind and bowled Johann Louw - and Daryn Smit was run out as the hosts slipped from 164 for 4 to 174 for 7.
Wayne Parnell, the left-hander who had captained South Africa to the final of the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, joined Elgar with his team needing 45 runs off 59 balls with three wickets in hand. The young pair displayed composure to steer the home side to victory with an unbroken stand of 48 for the eighth wicket. Elgar's 86 came off 93 balls and Parnell remained unbeaten on 16 off 24.
Another youngster, 25-year-old Yusuf Abdullah, played a crucial role in restricting Sri Lanka to 218 for 5. He struck thrice in his opening spell to reduce the visitors to 32 for 3 and finished with figures of 3 for 36 in ten overs.
Kaushal Silva, who scored 81, and captain Thilina Kandamby, who made 51, did some damage control but their 77-run stand was broken by Elgar, who had Kandamby caught. Angelo Mathews continued the rebuilding of the innings with 53 before he had to retire hurt.
The teams now move to Buffalo Park in East London for the third match on Wednesday.