• De Kock slams SA 2-0 up

    Quinton de Kock’s 87 off 78 balls helped the Proteas go 2-0 up in the series after a four-wicket victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka.

    On a dry surface in Dambulla, the Proteas bowled with discipline and control after losing the toss to restrict Sri Lanka to 244-8.

    Lungi Ngidi (3-50) and Andile Phehlukwayo (3-45) played the lead role in squeezing the Sri Lanka batters, with the former’s double strike in his first over getting the Proteas off to a great start, as they removed both openers for 13 runs.

    Sri Lanka pulled past the 50-run mark, but Phehlukwayo added to the pressure and dismissed the dangerous Kusal Perera for 12.

    Niroshan Dickwella then got stuck in and took his side past the 100-run mark while going to his sixth half-century, before Phehlukwayo dismissed him for 69 off 78 balls.

    Wickets tumbled at regular intervals thereafter to disrupt each partnership that Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews was desperatly trying to build. Wiaan Mulder and Kagiso Rabada contributed wickets towards the close, with the former dismissing Shehan Jayasuriya on 18 in the 34th over, while the latter accounted for Akila Dananjaya for nine in the 46th over.

    Mathews stuck around to anchor his side’s innings with an unbeaten 79 off 111 balls, which took Sri Lanka to a decent 244-8 off their 50 overs.

    ALSO READ: Proteas need 245 to win

    The Proteas got off to a lucky start thanks to sloppy Sri Lankan fielding. Hashim Amla was dropped on four in the fourth over and De Kock on 18 in the sixth, after which the pair continued to rub salt in the wounds of their hosts. Coupled with some clean shots from the openers ― and a couple of misfields that resulted in boundaries ― the visitors climbed to 91-0 after 14 overs.

    Amla had looked comfortable at the crease until he hit a low full toss from Dananjaya straight back at the bowler, who hung onto the catch to take the Proteas’ first wicket with the last ball of the 14th over.

    De Kock went on to reach his 16th half-century and brought up the Proteas’ 100 shortly thereafter, but Aiden Markram’s poor tour continued as he edged Dananjaya with his score on three.

    De Kock looked certain to reach what would have been his 14th century ― as well as reaching 4,000 ODI runs ― but he picked out the fielder on the midwicket boundary with his score on 87. His superb innings came off 78 balls and included one six and 13 fours.

    Faf du Plessis again played well until he lost his wicket for the fourth time during the tour with his score in the late 40s, on this occasion falling one run short of his half-century. David Miller followed him back into the pavilion shortly afterward, finding an outside edge off Suranga Lakmal which was taken at first slip with his score on three. It was the bowler’s 100th ODI  wicket.

    JP Duminy and Mulder rotated the strike well to shake off the pressure that the Sri Lankans were desperate to impose on them. With 14 runs needed to win, Duminy (32 off 29 balls) looked set to kill off the game before he lost his wicket smashing a delivery straight to short extra cover. His dismissal was Thisara Perera’s 150th ODI wicket.

    Mulder (19) and Phehlukwayo (seven) saw the Proteas over the line for a second successive victory and a fantastic team performance.

    Sri Lanka innings 244-8 – Angelo Mathews 79*, Niroshan Dickwella 69; Lungi Ngidi 3-50, Andile Phehlukwayo 3-45

    South Africa 246-6 – Quinton de Kock 87, Faf du Plessis 49; Akila Dananjaya 3-60

    Proteas win by four wickets with 43 balls remaining. 


    Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

    Post by

    Khalid Mohidin