Eighteen-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne scored her first T20I half-century as Sri Lanka levelled the three-match series against South Africa with a seven-wicket win in Potchefstroom.

Gunaratne and Kavisha Dilhari shared an unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 76 off 46 balls to successfully chase 138 after South Africa opted to bat first under stand-in captain Nadine de Klerk.

This was Sri Lanka's fourth-highest successful chase.

Laura Wolvaardt, the regular skipper and match-winning centurion from the first match, was ruled out through illness but Anneke Bosch proved to be a handy replacement.

She scored 50 off 32 balls and had support from Marizanne Kapp, with whom she put on 58 for the second wicket.

South Africa were 84 for 1 in the tenth over when Bosch was dismissed, sparking a collapse.

They lost their next seven wickets for 47 runs.

The squeeze was started by Sri Lanka's captain Chamari Athapaththu, who finished with 1 for 18 and an economy of 4.50, and the advantage was pressed home by seamer Achini Kulasuriya, who took 2 for 26.

South Africa will be concerned with the three run-outs in their innings and that no one outside the top three, other than de Klerk, reached double figures.

Debutant Karabo Meso, who is 16 years old and was part of the Africa Games squad that won the silver medal in Accra earlier this month, was dismissed for a second-ball duck by Athapaththu, who did more of a job with the ball than bat.

Athapaththu was caught behind by Meso off Tumi Sekhukhune for 6 to leave Sri Lanka in early trouble on 25 for 1 after five overs.

South Africa kept the pressure on through Chloe Tryon, who conceded just 4.66 runs per over, and bowled Harshita Samarawickrama at the halfway stage, with Sri Lanka still 82 runs away from victory.

Gunaratne also saw experienced No. 4 Hasini Perera dismissed for 1 but held her own and struck eight fours on her way to 50 off 52 balls to put Sri Lanka within touching distance of the win.

She went on to add another four and the only six of the Sri Lankan innings off what turned out to be the penultimate ball of the match.

Sri Lanka reached the target inside 19 overs to leave the series balanced at 1-1 ahead of the decider in East London on Wednesday.


Sri Lanka 138 for 3 (Gunaratne 65, Dilhari 45*, Tryon 1-14) beat South Africa 137 for 8 (Bosch 50, Kapp 44, Kulasuriya 2-26) by seven wickets


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