De Kock Ton Opens The Path To South Africa's Series Win > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - De Kock ton paves way for South Africa's series win
In what was South Africa's best batting performance of the series, it was rain that aided their chance of sealing the five-match series with a third win (by 71 runs - DLS Method) in a row in Durban. Sri Lanka, who were always playing the catch-up in the match, were dented when rain stopped play at the end of 16 overs - placed at 75 for 2 - and resumed with a revised target of 193 in 24 overs.
South Africa's new-ball pair - Kagiso Rabada and Lungisani Ngidi - struck once each to remove both the Sri Lankan openers early in the chase, leaving them at 35 for 2 in the eighth over. However, Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis consolidated the innings with some sensible risk-free batting.
Fernando fell soon after the rain break, dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi - who had come in to the side for Anrich Nortje - in his first over. However, it shouldn't have been the worst thing to happen to Sri Lanka with the in-form Thisara Perera coming in.
But, Perera struggled to get going against the South African spinners. Mendis provided a brief period of assault with a couple of sixes in an over against Shamsi but with the required rate hovering around 18, he had to throw his wicket away in an attempt to accelerate.
Wickets tumbled in quick succession thereafter, taking Sri Lanka away from the target with each passing over. Eventually, they fell 71 runs short of the revised target.
The platform for South Africa's 331 for 5 was laid by Quinton de Kock, who continued his good form and stroked his 14th ODI century.
Put in to bat, the southpaw began with two boundaries off the first three balls of the innings to set the tone of South Africa's innings. Isuru Udana, who was brought in to the side in place of Vishva Fernando, struck early and had Reeza Hendricks dismissed in the fourth over when the batsman chipped a drive to mid off.
However, the dismissal had little impact on Sri Lanka's innings. In the company of Faf du Plessis, de Kock continued his assault. After bringing up his half-century, in 49 balls, he shifted to fifth gear, carting the next eight balls to zoom to 77. Du Plessis, who was playing the second fiddle during the stand, might have gone unnoticed as the partnership raised 97 in only 62 balls, but contributed 36 off only 27.
The South African skipper fell soon after and South Africa's scoring rate dropped a bit. De Kock slowed down and Rassie van der Dussen took his time to settle in. Nonetheless, the 'keeper-batsman, who had registered his fourth successive fifty in this game, ensured he didn't let it go easily. He chugged along to his three-figure mark and posted 121 before edging one to Niroshan Dickwella behind the stumps.
Van der Dussen's innings was stable as usual but he couldn't push the scoring rate. He fell soon after registering his fourth ODI fifty, becoming Kamindu Mendis's first ODI victim - trapped legbefore.
In what was a complete batting performance - from early firepower to middle over stability to late blitz - David Miller's innings was a rare disappointment. Having come out to bat in the 31st over and remaining unbeaten till the end, he managed to hit only three boundaries in his 46-ball 41*. The big-hitting southpaw struggled to connect.
Nonetheless, with his partners at the other end playing handy innings in the death overs - Dwaine Pretorius (26-ball 31) and Andile Phehlukwayo (15-ball 38*) - South Africa managed to garner 99 runs from the last 10 overs.
Brief Scores: South Africa 331/5 in 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 121, Rassie van der Dussen 50; Isuru Udana 2-50, Kamindu Mendis 1-45) beat Sri Lanka 121/5 in 24 overs (Kusal Mendis 41, Oshada Fernando 24; Imran Tahir 2-18) by 71 runs (DLS Method).
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