• De Kock on fire with masterful century

    Quinton de Kock shone with the bat once again for South Africa, slamming a brilliant 121 runs as South Africa posted a belligerent 331-5 against Sri Lanka in the third ODI at Kingsmead. SIMON LEWIS reports.

    De Kock and skipper Faf du Plessis shared a breathtaking partnership of 97 runs for the second wicket after Reeza Hendricks had fallen for four runs in the sixth over. It came off just 64 balls as South Africa’s two premier batsmen dazzled the crowds once again.

    Rassie van der Dussen then partnered superbly with De Kock, who went through to his century off 89 balls with 13 fours and two sixes. De Kock pushed on after reaching three figures before finally falling for 121 runs off 108 balls, having added an additional three fours along the way.

    HIGHLIGHTS: SA vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI

    De Kock and Van der Dussen had added 66 runs off 88 balls in consolidating the Proteas’ superb start to the innings.

    De Kock has had an incredibly heavy workload with bat and gloves in recent months, and his form with the bat, in particular, has been simply sensational. His century at Kingsmead is sure to shoot him up the ICC’s batting rankings from his current impressive ranking at No 8.

    His incredible run of form has seen his last 14 innings for the Proteas yield scores of 121, 94, 81, 86, 1, 80, 55, 83, 0, 33, 18, 129, 59, and 45.

    With the Proteas well poised on 187-3, Van der Dussen and David Miller added 44 runs off 49 balls before Van der Dussen was trapped leg before by the ambidextrous debutant Kamindu Mendis, having scored 50 run off 67 balls, including three fours.

    READ ALSO: Ruthless Proteas bowling bumps SA 2-0 up

    Fresh from a superb double play in the last-ball loss to the Cape Cobras (which saw him take 2-46 and score 99), Dwaine Pretorius joined Miller as the Proteas entered the last 10 overs.

    Pretorius scored a positive 31 off 26 balls (2×4, 1×6, S/R 119.23) before he was bowled by Isuru Udana after adding 53 for the fifth wicket off 44 balls with Miller.

    With Miller playing an unusual supporting role in the innings – but potentially a highly valuable role with the World Cup in mind – Andile Phehlukwayo came out all guns blazing and added an unbroken 47 runs off just 20 balls with Miller to close the innings. The dynamic all-rounder Phehlukwayo ended undefeated on 38 off just 15 balls (5×4, 1×6, S/R 253.33), while Miller stood defiant on a well-played 41 not out off 46 balls (3×4).

    The late flurry of runs shot the Proteas up to an impressive score of 331-5 off their 50 overs, a superb team display with the bat that has the hosts poised to seal a series win in Durban, especially given Sri Lanka’s brittle batting in the previous two ODIs in the series.

    Kamindu Mendis ended a memorable bowling debut with figures of 1-45 off his 10 overs (econ 4.50), while Udana picked up his first wickets in his third ODI, ending with figures of 2-50 (econ 6.25)


    Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

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    Simon Lewis