Benoni - A magnificent maiden 50-over century by Raynard van Tonder was not enough as Sri Lanka warmed up for the five-match one-day international series against the Proteas with a comfortable six-wicket win over a SA Invitation XI in Benoni on Thursday.
The former South Africa Under-19 captain blazed his way to 164 off 156 balls in an innings that included 13 fours and five sixes with the home side totalling 304 all out in the tour match at Willowmoore Park.
He was eventually dismissed by veteran Lasith Malinga, whose first appearance of the tour yielded a fine return of five for 35 in seven overs.
Avishka Fernando and Oshada Fernando then blasted half-centuries as the islanders cruised to their target with a full nine overs to spare.
The match was Sri Lanka's first since their historic 2-0 triumph over the Proteas in their recent Test series, and with experienced reinforcement joining in the form of Malinga, Upul Tharanga and Thisara Perera, they looked even stronger.
Host captain Marques Ackerman (42) won the toss and opted to bat first, putting on 91 with Van Tonder for the opening wicket, before Tshepang Dithole (0) and Sibonelo Makhanya (0) were out first ball leaving the score on 91 for three.
Leus du Plooy (36) then added 77 alongside Van Tonder for the fourth wicket, before another cluster of wickets left the home side on 184 for six.
Kyle Simmonds was next to provide support for the opener with 28 that took the South Africans to 256 thanks to another half-century stand, before they then folded in 48 overs.
Tharanga (45) and Avishka Fernando (72 off 46 balls, 9 fours, 3 sixes) put on 127 for the opening wicket, with Oshada Fernando (63 off 48 balls, 8 fours, 2 sixes) and Kusal Mendis (47) then adding 110 for the third.
That was enough to take the away side to the brink, with Kamindu Mendis (26 not out) and Priyamal Perera (31 not out) adding the finishing touches in a solid win.
The opening match of the One-Day Series between the Proteas and Sri Lanka takes place at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday.
South African Invitation XI 304 in 48 overs (R. van Tonder 164, M. Ackerman 42, L. du Plooy 36; K. Rajitha 2-36, L. Malinga 5-35).
Sri Lankans 307-4 in 41 overs (A. Fernando 72, U. Tharanga 46, K. Mendis 47, O. Fernando 63 retired out; O. Cele 2-37).
Result: Sri Lankans won by six wickets.