At Colombo (RPS), July 6, 2014. South Africa won by 75 runs. Toss: South Africa.
South Africa passed 300 for the first time away to Sri Lanka thanks to Amla's 109 from 130 balls, an anchoring innings reminiscent of a different era. But it was precisely what his team needed, and a fitting contribution from their best reader of conditions. The Sri Lankan bowlers were unable to glean anything from the pitch, prompting Mathews into using part-time spinners for 11 overs. Kallis fell to his second delivery when he misread Mendis's carrom ball, but de Villiers struck cleanly from the outset, and added over 150 with Amla for the fourth time in two years. They should have been separated earlier: Mathews spilled a low catch off de Villiers at mid-off on 17, and Amla reached his fifty courtesy of a drop at long-on. Sangakkara just about kept Sri Lanka in the hunt with a classy display of style and placement, despite the regular clatter of wickets. But the pursuit was made harder because of cost-cutting measures taken by the Sri Lankan board: when the early-evening gloom descended the Premadasa floodlights were not switched on. After Thirimanne, the last specialist batsman, aimed a shocking heave at McLaren, a visibly upset Sangakkara tried something similar, as if in protest. That was that.
Man of the Match: H. M. Amla.