The Proteas managed to scrape out 251 runs on a good batting wicket in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Centurion. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Proteas picked a side with five specialist batsmen and two all-rounders, a decision that came to haunt them despite a quick start to their innings.
They did, however, get a strong opening partnership going, which was bound together by Quinton de Kock, who reached his 20th half-century as the home side put 91 runs on the board before the fall of the first wicket.
Reeza Hendricks failed to impress, despite getting a decent start. The opener played a limp pull shot to Akila Dananjaya at fine leg off the bowling of Lasith Malinga (2-39).
Du Plessis came to the crease, and in similar fashion to the first ODI, the Proteas seemed to take control of the contest until De Kock threw his wicket away on 94. The opener scored 74 of his 94 runs with boundaries, his free-flowing stroke play delighting the crowd as he hit 17 fours and a six in his 70-ball 94 (S/R 134.28).
De Kock left the wicket furious with himself for missing out on what would have been his 14th ODI ton, and the fact that he had raced to 94 in only the 21st over had placed him in the ideal position to push through and score South Africa’s first ODI double century.
Du Plessis needed a partner to help him push his side as close to the 300-run mark as possible on a wicket that seemed conducive to batting. Unfortunately he lost Rassie van der Dussen (2) and Wiaan Mulder (17) as the Proteas were reduced to 176-4.
Du Plessis managed to reach his 32nd half-century, but shortly thereafter a short delivery from Thisara Perera (3-26) kept surprisingly low and crashed into his stumps. The Proteas’ skipper’s 57 came off 66 balls.
Aside from De Kock and Du Plessis, Miller (25) was the only batsman to pass the 20-run mark as the Proteas were knocked over for 251.
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