South Africa supremacy continues at Goodyear Park

South Africa's supremacy in this one-day series continued at Goodyear Park on Friday night as they completed a comfortable six wicket against Sri Lanka in the final One-Day International.

South Africa chased down the Sri Lankans 229 run target with ease despite the resting of their star performer, man of the series Jacques Kallis, with Neil McKenzie scoring a timely unbeaten 70 from 101 balls, hitting five fours.

There were also good contributions from Boeta Dippenaar (36), with whom McKenzie appears to be competing for a place in South Africa's World Cup squad, and Herschelle Gibbs, who blazed 47 from 45 balls at the start.

Jonty Rhodes, needing to spend time at the crease before the tough Pakistan series that starts Sunday, finished off the game with a breezy unbeaten 25, a target reached with 4.5 overs to spare.

For the Sri Lankans it was a now familiar tale: a stuttering performance by the top order, ill-disciplined bowling and sloppy fielding.

The Sri Lankan selectors will sit down over the weekend to sift over the debris and try to pick a side capable of being more competitive in the forthcoming VB Series in Australia.

It will be no easy task. This tour was supposed to be the ideal springboard for their World Cup preparations but seven weeks later there is there is less, not more, certainty over the best personnel and strategy for that tournament.

The visitor's parlous situation is sharply contrasted by that of South Africa - their selection dilemmas concern who should be left out of the final 15-man squad. Compared to Sri Lanka they have an embarrassment of riches.

Youngster Monde Zondeki threw his hat into the ring today with a lively performance with the ball, becoming only the second South African to take a wicket with his first delivery in a One-Day International.

The quickest bowler on show, he ended Sri Lanka's hopes of posting a competitive total as Marvan Atapattu, who had been in sublime form once again, edged a rising delivery to first slip via Mark Boucher's right glove.

Atapattu was holding the innings together having scored 53 from 63 balls with eight elegant boundaries after the early loss of Sanath Jayasuriya (2), Aravinda de Silva (0) and Mahela Jayawardene (3).

The last two were the unfortunate victims of beautiful deliveries from Shaun Pollock - the pick of the South African bowlers, picking up the man of the match award after taking two for 23 from his ten overs - but Jayasuriya's demise was self-inflicted: a lame square cut straight into the hands of Jonty Rhodes at backward point.

When Zondeki snared Atapattu the tourists were wavering on 84 for four, in danger of being dismissed for another humiliating low score. But Kumar Sangakkara finally found some form after four consecutive failures.

The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman lacked fluency but showed greater application, batting for just short of three hours for his unbeaten 77, his eighth one-day fifty, which included eight fours and a last over six.

He repaired the early damage, adding 61 runs for the fifth wicket with Russel Arnold (36) and then 57 with Thilan Samaraweera (33), who replaced Hashan Tillakaratne to play his first game of the series.

The partnerships were steady but Sangakkara, mindful of a fragile lower order that could have all too easily been swept away by South Africa's fast bowlers, was only able to cut loose in the final over when clobbered 14 runs off Donald.

Sri Lanka now return home to Colombo for three days rest before departing for the Australian tour, their final chance to turn things around before the World Cup in February.

South Africa, meanwhile, start a five-match series against Pakistan on Sunday at Durban, an intriguing contest against one of the frontrunners for the World Cup - a far sterner test than the woeful Sri Lankans.