The Proteas beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets to take an unassailable 3-0 victory against Sri Lanka in the pink day ODI at the Wanderers.
It was yet another one-sided contest in Johannesburg on Saturday, as the Proteas swarmed, literally, to another win after winning the first two comfortably.
A swarm of bees put the breaks on proceedings halfway through Sri Lanka’s innings, but it didn’t have any impact on the status of the match. AB de Villiers’ side have now won nine ODIs on the trot, and if they can make it 5-0, they will become the No 1 side in the world.
A mark of how impressive the South Africans have been recently is the fact that they’ve now won 12 ODIs in a row at home, breaking a ten-year record.
The bowlers were in excellent form once again as Andile Phehlukwayo took two scalps early on, before Dwaine Pretorius, coming in for Wayne Parnell, took career-best figures of 3-19. Imran Tahir was outstanding once again with 2-21 from 9.2 overs.
It wasn’t looking that way at first. De Villiers won the toss and opted to bowl first, and Niroshan Dickwella and skipper Upul Tharanga proceeded to smack a 60-run stand, with a dropped catch and a couple of near chances along the way.
Kagiso Rabada would be the man to find the breakthrough to see off Tharanga for 31, but Dickwella, Man of the Series from their successful T20 stint against the hosts, was his usual explosive self, smacking seven boundaries on his way to 74 off 80 balls.
He couldn’t hold on to any partners however. Sachith Parithana’s 18 was as good as it got for the tourists as the bowlers chipped in throughout, restricting the Sri Lankans to 163 all out. For the third time in a row, Sri Lanka failed to post a score past the 200-mark.
The pressure was off, but the raw pace and youth of 19-year-old Lahiru Kumara gave Quinton de Kock some problems. De Kock survived an lbw review, but he chopped one on the very next delivery to depart for eight.
Debutant Lahiru Madushanka saw off Faf du Plessis for 24, but Hashim Amla (34) and De Villiers took the sting out of the bee’s tail with a 34-run stand. Amla was run out, but it was symbolic of the positivity they expressed in their running between the wickets.
De Villiers was fluent throughout and brought up an effortless half-century, with JP Duminy playing the supporting act with 28. De Villiers fittingly hit the winning runs to finish on 60 not out, and with that, the series.
Sri Lanka will go in desperate search of a consolation victory at Newlands on Tuesday, while the Proteas will look to go one step closer towards that No 1 ranking.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images