SACricketmag.com rates the Proteas’ player performances from their 3-0 Test series victory against Sri Lanka.
Dean Elgar – 308 runs @61.60 SR: 53.56
Ended as the top scorer of the series with one century and two half-centuries. He top-scored with 129 at Newlands, which was vital in setting an unbeatable target for Sri Lanka. He followed this up in the second innings, top-scoring with 55, which helped SA seal a series win. He was awarded the Man of the Series.
Stephen Cook – 216 runs @43.20 SR: 54.27
Cook led SA to victory in the first Test, scoring 59 in the first innings and 117 in the second innings to help SA to a comfortable 206-run victory. However, this was his only notable performances. He recorded a duck, 30 and 10 in his next three innings.
Hashim Amla – 231 runs @46.20 SR: 49.46
Amla’s performance was heavily sugar-coated by his 100 in his 100th Test at the Wanderers. Although it took an immense amount of skill and concentration for him to achieve this milestone, it covers up his previously bad run of form which saw him record 20, 48, 29 and 0 in the first two matches.
JP Duminy – 273 runs @54.60 SR: 66.74
Duminy had a mixed bag of results in the series. He top-scored with 63 in the first innings of the first Test in PE but could not better this in the second innings going out for 25. In the second Test in Cape Town, he had a horrid time, going out for a duck and only managing 30 in the second innings. His 155 in the final match at the Wanderers was magnificent, which earned him the Man of the Match award and he helped Amla achieve a ton on his 100th Test in a partnership of 292.
Faf du Plessis –199 runs @49.75 SR: 60.67
Led his side to a 3-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka, but could not back his leadership skills with the bat. His 67 not out did, however, help SA set an unbeatable target in the first Test in PE and he managed his bowling attack superbly throughout the series. He also took a magnificent catch at the Wanderers in Sri Lanka’s follow-on innings, leaping in the air to dismiss Angelo Mathews.
Temba Bavuma – 21 runs @4.20 SR: 33.87
Bavuma had a disappointing series with two ducks to his name. His only admirable performance was in the field where he took three catches. This will raise questions about his future as a Test player for the Proteas.
Quinton de Kock – 270 runs @54.00 SR: 76.48
De Kock has really proved himself as one of the best, if not the best, wicketkeeper-batsman in the world. Third on the run-scorers list, he took 15 catches and one stumping and really stood out with the gloves throughout the series. With the bat, he scored 270 runs including one half-century, which pushed the target out of reach in the second innings of the first Test, and a century in the second Test which, together with Dean Elgar, set a formidable target for Sri Lanka to chase. His performances nudged him to ninth on the ICC Test batsman rankings.
Vernon Philander – 48 runs, 17 wickets @14.58 Econ: 2.69
Philander played the role of the senior bowler to the tee. After SA only posted 286 in their first innings of the first Test in PE, his five-for in Sri Lanka’s first innings, was vital to bundling them out for 205, setting the platform for his batsman to put the target out of reach. He ended the match with six wickets as SA recorded their first win of the series. In the second Test at Newlands, Philander reached 150 wickets. He ended the match with seven wickets as the Proteas sealed a series victory. At the Wanderers, Philander was crucial to SA’s innings and 118-run victory, taking three wickets in Sri Lanka’s first innings which saw them post 131. With SA enforcing the follow-on, he took another wicket ending with a total of four as SA claimed a series whitewash.
Kagiso Rabada – 8 runs, 19 wickets @17.15 Econ: 3.74
Our choice for Man of the Series. He keeps getting better every series he plays, and he’s added a lot more fire to his aggression. He struggled a bit in PE only picking up four wickets, which had critics talking about resting him. He brushed away all criticism in the second Test at Newlands picking up multiple milestones. Rabada (at 21 yrs 223 days) became the second-youngest SA bowler to 50 wickets with his four-for on day two, behind Paul Adams (21 yrs 138 days). He also reached his fifth five-for of his career and ended the match with his second 10-wicket haul, to help claim a series win. He took five more at the Wanderers and ended the series as the No 1 SA bowler on the ICC rankings in fifth place, overtaking Dale Steyn in sixth.
Wayne Parnell – 23 runs, 6 wickets @14.83 Econ: 4.20
Parnell made his comeback in the absence of Kyle Abbott, taking the new ball in the first innings at the Wanderers. His 2-38 was vital as Sri Lanka crumbled to 131. After SA enforced the follow-on, he handed over the duties to Rabada and it seemed to help the seamer who took 4-51, as SA bowled out Sri Lanka for 177.
Duanne Olivier – 3 runs, 5 wickets @11.40 Econ: 3.16
The debutant, brought in to replace Kyle Abbott, introduced himself to the SA support with a five-for in the third Test. The 24-year-old showed his strengths on a bouncy pitch which suited him, picking up 2-19 in Sri Lanka’s 131-run slump. He bettered that in the second innings picking up 3-38.
Keshav Maharaj – 52 runs, 7 wickets @30.20 Econ: 3.14
Maharaj did very little wrong in the first two Tests, but was taking out of the third Test for a four-seamer attack on a wicket conducive to fast bowling. He took four wickets in the first Test in PE, and had a balanced performance in the second Test where he took three more wickets and hit 32 not out and 20.
Kyle Abbott – 16 runs, 5 wickets @31.20 Econ: 2.40
Abbott took all of his wickets in the first Test in PE, which would ultimately be his last scalps taken for his country. His performance in the second Test was obviously affected by the breaking news that he would be signing a Kolpak agreement and he took no wickets in what would be his last Test match for the Proteas.
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