Tillakaratne Dilshan has found crucial wickets during the series, and he did so again in Pallekele, first trapping an imperious Hashim Amla lbw, and claiming AB de Villiers' wicket as well, off a much poorer delivery. Bowling from around the wicket, Dilshan pitched a length delivery outside leg stump, and turned it further away from the right-handed batsman, for what should have been a regulation wide-call for the umpire. But instead of leaving the ball alone or sweeping it powerfully, de Villiers played a lap-sweep, for which he might have only got two runs, and ended up deflecting the ball off the face of the bat and into Kumar Sangakkara's waiting gloves.
Having never played against Ajantha Mendis before, Farhaan Behardien lasted only two deliveries before he was bowled by the Sri Lankan spinner in the third ODI, and thanks to a clever change in the field his stay was even shorter in this match. Mendis removed David Miller early in the 38th over, and as soon as Behardien arrived, captain and bowler colluded to place a slip and a short leg - the latter particularly strange given the match situation. Behardien defended the first ball safely, but when Mendis dropped an off-break slightly shorter next delivery, the ball took slightly more turn than the batsman anticipated and his attempted clip to the leg side became a straightforward catch for short leg, off the inside half of the bat.
If the batsman is good enough though, a fielding change can also be an opportunity. With Lasith Malinga going full and wide to JP Duminy in the 46th over, Mathews thought to remove the man at midwicket in order to reinforce his defences square on the off side. Having seen the now vacant space between square leg and mid-on, Duminy found a way to exploit the large gap, despite a well-executed full delivery from Malinga. Moving across his stumps, Duminy got low, and swept Malinga, changing the length from yorker to full toss, and sending the ball screaming through almost exactly where midwicket had stood.
Having seen Kumar Sangakkara strike a walloping 169 in the first match of the series, you'd think South Africa would use everything at their disposal to cut his innings short. But despite having used reviews speculatively throughout the series, they barely even considered reviewing the umpire's decision, when JP Duminy rapped Sangakkara on the pads in the 26th over. South Africa appealed vigorously, but when the umpire turned them down quickly, neither bowler nor keeper appeared confident of overturning the decision. The projected path however showed that the ball would have struck enough of the leg stump to send Sangakkara on his way for 33.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe dropped a sitter in the second match that AB de Villiers later said had had the potential to lose the game, and though no aerial chances came his way on Sunday, he committed two comical fielding errors in five balls, just after he had conceded 25 runs in his last two overs. Fielding at fine leg, Tsotsobe first let a Dilshan pull go between his legs and to the fence, before early next over, he went to his knees at short fine leg to collect another Dilshan swivel-shot, only to let the ball bounce through him and travel to the boundary again.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here