Cricket

All-round South Africa make it 4-0


SA VS SL, 4TH ODI

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De Kock top-scored in South Africa’s modest chase of 190. © AFP

South Africa displayed a clinical all-round show which powered them to their fourth successive win in the five-match series as they beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the fourth ODI in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday (March 13).

No matter what they try, it just doesn’t seem to work for Sri Lanka. They made three changes to their XI and batted with an unmistakable air of freedom, having already conceded the series. Yet they careened to 189 all-out in 39.2 overs. Facing a rampant Proteas bowling unit, Sri Lanka were at the receiving end of another humiliation. The visitors turned up the most abject batting performance of the series, losing nine wickets for 131 before recovering remarkably through Isuru Udana’s scintillating 57-ball 78. The 31-year old put up an admirable rearguard and in the company of number 11, Kasun Rajitha, added 58 runs dragging his team to a respectable total. South Africa’s bowlers led by Anrich Nortje put in an excellent collective performance to establish their dominance at the halfway mark.

Chasing a meagre total, Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks were watchful at the start as the Sri Lankan bowlers were disciplined with the new ball. But the visitors didn’t help themselves in the field. Dhananjaya de Silva put down de Kock in his second over for 4, shelling a tough return chance. Hendricks was dropped on 6 by Thisara Perera at first slip off Lasith Malinga but he couldn’t capitalise on the reprieve. de Silva prised him out for 8. Aiden Markram, who made a comeback into the side on the back of some sterling scores in the domestic circuit, joined de Kock and announced his return in style slamming a beautiful on-drive off his third ball. Both of them kept knocking it around, keeping the scorers busy.

But Markram lost his concentration and gifted his wicket on 29 to Kasun Rajitha which brought Faf du Plessis to the middle. After settling into the groove, South Africa’s keeper-batsman began to find boundaries at will and compiled his fifth fifty of the series. However, he perished straight after completing the milestone. Proteas’ skipper du Plessis took the onus upon himself and struck a breezy 43 before flicking one into the hands of short mid-wicket. Dhananjaya de Silva accounted for both the dismissals. David Miller and JP Duminy stitched an unbeaten 46-run stand for the fifth wicket and shouldered the finishing responsibility, making sure there were no hassles in the end. Overall, this was another performance South Africa could be proud of, demonstrating that their ODI squad presently has plenty of depth to it.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 189-all out in 20 overs (Isuru Udana 78; Anrich Nortje 3-57) lost to South Africa 190-4 in 32.5 overs (Quinton de Kock 51; Dhananjaya de Silva 3-44) by 6 wickets.

© Cricbuzz

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