Mathews smashes sixes as Sri Lanka level series vs SAfrica

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Johannesburg (AP) — Angelo Mathews smashed two sixes in the final over to keep the Twenty20 series alive as Sri Lanka beat hosts South Africa by three wickets on Sunday.

After dismissing South Africa for 113 in 19.3 overs, Sri Lanka scored 119-7 to win the second T20 international with two balls to spare and level the three-match series at 1-1.

South Africa won the toss, chose to bat and were reduced to 13-2 by the fourth over with the dismissals of opener JJ Smuts (4) and Theunis de Bruyn (7) at the Wanderers.

Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews, right, plays a shot as South Africa's wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, watches during the T20 cricket match at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 22. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews, right, plays a shot as South Africa’s wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, watches during the T20 cricket match at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, Jan. 22. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

In a low-scoring game, Heino Kuhn (29 runs off 20 balls) and captain Farhaan Behardien (27 off 22) were the top scorers for South Africa.

Lakshan Sandakan took 4-23 in his four overs, and Isuru Udana 3-13 in 2.3 overs. Sandakan had the distinction of becoming the first Sri Lankan to take a wicket on his first-ever delivery in a T20 international.

Sri Lanka also started poorly, reaching 15-2 in the third over. Despite visibly limping at the end with a reported twisted ankle, Mathews scored at more than a run-a-ball for 54 not out. The Sri Lankan captain shared an important partnership with Dinesh Chandimal (22 off 28) as the tourists went from 35-3 after five overs to 86-4 in the 15th for their first win during the tour.

Lungi Ngidi was the only South African bowler to take more than one wicket with 4-19 in four overs.

The third T20 match is at Cape Town on Wednesday.