Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen’s quick half-centuries set a solid foundation as the Proteas posted 180-3 in the second T20I at Centurion. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Centurion crowd got to witness two batsmen in top form. But they were treated to an attacking display after a slow start that saw the Proteas lose the wicket of Aiden Markram, and score only 28 runs after five overs.
Before the match all eyes were on Markram and Hendricks, who are both aiming to impress the national selectors ahead of the World Cup squad announcement in April.
With Markram dismissed for three in the second over, Hendricks was joined by his Lions teammate Van der Dussen. The pair showed incredible understanding as they racked up a 116-run partnership off 77 balls – the highest by South Africa against Sri Lanka in T20I cricket.
Both players brought up their half-centuries as Sri Lanka struggled to contain the free-flowing pair.
A cleverly disguised slower delivery from Lasith Malinga (1-26) broke the damaging partnership as Hendricks spooned the Sri Lanka skipper to mid-off. This brought an impressive Hendricks innings of 65 off 46 balls to an end, which included nine fours.
Van der Dussen reached a career-best 64 off 44 balls (four fours and three sixes), but in an attempt to move forward against the spinner, ended up yorking himself and was bowled by Akila Dananjaya (1-31).
With a base of 138-3 after 16 overs, it was time for stand-in skipper JP Duminy and David Miller to show their big-hitting capabilities.
Duminy took the mantle to push the Proteas to a decent score. He finished on 33 off 17 balls (two fours, two sixes). Miller struggled with his time but did manage to score an unorthodox four off the final ball to take him to nine off nine balls and the Proteas to 180-3.
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