A clinical bowling display helped the Proteas defend a target of 252 as they claimed a 113-run win in the second ODI at SuperSport Park. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
On a pitch that appeared conducive to batting, statisticians would have rated the Centurion strip a 300-plus track. The Proteas’ start to their innings indicated that they were on track for such a target, as they sped away thanks to Quinton de Kock. The opener reached his 20th half-century in a super-quick 91-run stand with Reeza Hendricks.
Faf du Plessis also showed his class once again, scoring his 32nd half-century, but his dismissal saw the rest of the innings crumble.
Hendricks (29) and Miller (25) were the only other players to reach a double-digit score as their batting inefficiency shone through again.
The Proteas needed a positive response from their bowlers in order to stand a chance to take a 2-0 lead, but it was no easy task on a batting-friendly track, with only 251 runs to defend.
The Proteas managed to make steady breakthroughs with their three speedsters – Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi (2-14) and Anrich Nortje (2-25). This saw Sri Lanka lose their top three for 52 runs.
Kusal Mendis and Oshada Fernando took Sri Lanka to 92, but a muddle-up (for the second time in two matches) saw Mendis run out on 24, thanks to Nortje.
Nortje turned the momentum further in his side’s favour, trapping Fernando lbw as the visitors lost their fifth wicket with no runs added.
Rabada came back into the attack to dismiss Dhananjaya de Silva, and Imran Tahir removed Sri Lanka’s No 7, Thisara Perera. Tahir (2-39), and followed this with a beautiful slider that trapped Kasun Rajitha leg before.
At 135-8, Sri Lanka were in disarray and the Proteas were heading for a comfortable victory. Rabada snapped up Sri Lanka’s ninth with no further runs added to the score, and Ngidi sealed the victory as the Proteas skittled Sri Lanka for 138 runs.
Rabada’s effort helped him reach 100 ODI wickets, which makes him the third-fastest Proteas ODI bowler to reach the milestone.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images