By M. Shamil Amit
Right-arm fast bowler Gerald Coetzee took a five-wicket haul while Tristan Stubbs and Senuran Muthusamy made valuable knocks to pave the way for South Africa ‘A’ to record a comfortable five-wicket win over Sri Lanka ‘A’ at Pallekele to take the three match series 2-1
Stubbs (58) and Muthusamy (45) were unbeaten, associating in an unbroken 74-run partnership for the sixth wicket to help South Africa ‘A’ reach the 173 run target in the 36th over.
Earlier Sri Lanka ‘A’, invited to take first lease of the wicket, fell into deep trouble as Coetzee, Lizaad Williams and left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy ran through the top order batting and had the home side struggling on woeful 7 for 4 in the sixth over.
Sahan Arachchige, who top scored with 63, and Ashen Bandara rescued the side putting on a valuable 74 runs for the fifth wicket, followed by two brief partnerships involving Arachchige – first of 30 runs for the sixth wicket with Janith Liyanage and 25 for the seventh wicket with Dunith Wellalage -- for Sri Lanka ‘A’ to end on a respectable score of 172.
The two sides will play the first unofficial Test from June 12 at Rangiri Dambulla Stadium.
Sri Lanka ‘A’ 172 in 42.3 overs (Sahan Arachchige 63, Ashen Bandara 36: Gerald Coetzee 5 for 48, Senuran Muthusamy 2 for 42)
South Africa ‘A’ 175 for 5 in 35.5 overs (Kyle Verreynne 19, Zubayr Hamza 19, Sinethemba Qeshile 15, Tristan Stubbs 58 n.o., Senuran Muthusamy 45 n.o.: Dilshan Madusanka 3 for 34, Dunith Wellalage 2 for 44)