Despite soft dismissals, Quinton de Kock’s 21st fifty and clinical bowling from the Proteas saw them seal a six-wicket win in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka at St George’s Park. KHALID MOHIDIN reports.
The Proteas were in total control of the fourth ODI in Port Elizabeth. Faf du Plessis put the visitors in to bat first and his bowlers delivered the goods for him, dismissing the visitors for a measly 189.
Sri Lanka could have found themselves in an even more devastating position, if not for Isuru Udana (78 off 57 balls), who pulled his side from the depths of despair at 131-9 to 189 all out.
The Proteas bowlers produced a superb combined effort with the ball, led by Anrich Nortje, who returned figures of 3-57 to limit Sri Lanka to a sub-200 score.
The Proteas’ reply was effortless, despite Reeza Hendricks failing to take advantage of his opportunity in the absence of Hashim Amla.
Aiden Markram’s blockage continued, and the number three batsman was visibly upset after losing his wicket with his score on 29 after having done the hard work to set up a foundation for his side. Markram attempted to chip Kasun Rajitha to the leg side, but instead found a leading edge that flew to mid-wicket.
De Kock (51) continued his red-hot form and brought up his 21st ODI half-century before he hit a ball straight to mid-on shortly after acknowledging the applause for this half-century. This meant that he completed five successive ODI half-centuries to equal the South African record that he jointly holds with Jonty Rhodes.
Du Plessis was on course to produce another captain’s knock and was looking superbly comfortable on 43 runs off just 38 balls before he chipped Dhanajaya de Silva straight to mid-wicket.
JP Duminy, on his return, played the perfect little cameo that proved the value of his inclusion in the side. Supported by David Miller (25 off 33 balls), Duminy scored a superb 31 runs off 21 balls with four fours and one six.
The Proteas made light of their chase with soft dismissals that saw the hosts lose four wickets. They still managed to seal a comfortable six-wicket win.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images