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The sorry not sorry strains of “It wasn’t me” rang out from the Premadasa’s speakers after 13 overs of South Africa’s reply in the third T20I on Tuesday. Another dozen runs were needed and the visitors had yet to lose a wicket. Ten balls later the match was over.

South Africa completed their third 10-wicket win in the format and their first over Sri Lanka thanks to an unbroken stand of 121 shared by Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock. It was the highest T20I stand for any wicket against the Lankans by South Africa, and it sealed their 3-0 series whitewash.

Maybe this: who was that out there in the blue and yellow playing kit? They looked like Sri Lanka, but they didn’t play like Sri Lanka – not even compared to the team that had lost the first two games.

The Lankans were 28/4 after four overs and 86/7 in the 15th, when the South Africans – satisfied that the contest had all but been decided – eased up a touch. The rest of the match had all the intensity of a folded umbrella.

Under the circumstances it was almost unfair to ask Dasun Shanaka what he was going to do about the way his team had limped through the series. “Our bowling was quite good but we need to think about our batting,” he said at the presentation. Who could argue with that.

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