Captain Faf du Plessis relished key contributions from South Africa’s batsmen as Sri Lanka slumped to a six-wicket defeat in the fourth ODI at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje and seamer Andile Phehlukwayo shared five important wickets to limit the Sri Lankans to 189 all out, after which the Proteas moved to 191 for four with 103 deliveries to spare.
Opener Quinton de Kock struck a superb half-century, while Du Plessis was dismissed for 43 and the recalled Aiden Markram for 29. The left-handed David Miller and JP Duminy later gathered 25 and 31 not out respectively.
‘It was really pleasing to see JP and David finish it off for us. That’s what we want our middle order to do for us. The last two games, the batting has started to tick very nicely,’ said du Plessis.
‘In the big picture, it is not the worst thing that Quinton and I got out, because it gave the other guys chances. They were really solid. I like batting at number three – I really enjoyed it. But I can adapt my game between three and four. We have guys who can bat in different positions – and that’s important for the World Cup.’
The result afforded the hosts a four-nil series lead. The fifth and final ODI will be played at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday. The Proteas and Sri Lankans will then meet for three T20Is.
‘Cape Town is always a good crowd. The guys are confident and there’s a real good buzz in the squad. We might make one or two changes for the last game to make sure everyone gets an opportunity. We’re playing some really good cricket,’ added Du Plessis.
‘All the stuff that needed to happen over the last six months or year has happened. We’re clear in what we want from a balance point of view. One more to go.’