KANDY, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Reeza Hendricks’ sizzling century in his debut match helped set up South Africa’s series-clinching 78-run victory against Sri Lanka in the third one day international on Sunday.
The number three batsman took only 88 balls to smash the fastest ODI hundred by a debutant and was one of the four South African batsmen to post a 50-plus score as they amassed 363-7.
The tourists then returned to bowl out Sri Lanka for 285 in the 46th over to record their third successive victory in the five-match series.
Put into bat on a flat track, Hendricks and Hashim Amla, who made a run-a-ball 59, took South Africa past the 100-mark following opener Quinton de Kock’s early dismissal.
Thisara Perera (4-75) removed Amla and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis (10) but Hendricks and JP Duminy kept the scoreboard ticking with their 78-run stand.
Hendricks, who turns 29 this month, hit eight boundaries and a six in his 89-ball 102 before falling to Lahiru Kumara in the 35th over.
Duminy clobbered four sixes in his 92 off 70 balls as he and David Miller, who made 51, continued to punish the hosts.
The tourists really accelerated towards the end of their innings, plundering 71 runs in the last five overs, to post their highest total in Sri Lanka.
To accomplish the chase, Sri Lanka needed their top order to fire but that did not happen as Lungi Ngidi (4-57) removed both the openers in his successive overs.
Dhananjaya de Silva kept Sri Lanka alive with a belligerent 84 but once he fell in the 42nd over, a ball after smacking his third six, the contest was truly over for his team.
The teams stay put in Kandy for the fourth one-dayer on Wednesday.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar