Sri Lanka succumbed to pressure to get all out for 138 runs after South Africa posted 251 runs in the second one-day international to give the host an all-important 2-0 lead at Centurion on March 6 (Wednesday). As a result, the Proteas lead the five-match series 2-0.
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Rabada on fire
Meanwhile, chasing a modest total of 252 runs, South African bowling attack proved to be too hot for the Sri Lankan batters to handle. The batsmen struggled to offer resistance that helped them make a comeback in the game. Kagiso Rabada bowled a fiery spell, consistently touching the 145 kph mark, but was often wayward. However, he found one delivery to climb quickly on to Niroshan Dickwella, who found it hard to resist playing a flick-pull but closed the bat face early and offered a leading edge to Quinton de Kock. From the other end, Lungi Ngidi – recovered fully from injury continuously posed questions to the visitor’s batsmen. He brought in the deliveries consistently, and one such delivery rattled Avishka Fernando’s timber. Kusal Perera also followed soon courtesy a top-edge off Anrich Nortje as Sri Lanka fell to 52 for three.
Since then, Oshada Fernando and Kusal Mendis added 40 runs- their only moment of resistance with the bat. They tried to rotate the strike leaving the deliveries outside the off-stump. But that association ended with miscommunication and the Mendis (24) got run-out. Oshada was then out LBW to Anrich Nortje, triggering a collapse at Centurion. The visitors lost their final seven wickets for 46 runs and were all out for 138 runs with nearly 18 overs to spare.
The South African pacers did an outstanding job sharing seven of the ten wickets that fell while spinner Imran Tahir – who recently announced his retirement after the ICC World Cup, bagged two wickets.
Here is the scoreboard of Sri Lanka innings against South Africa at Centurion:
Earlier in the day, South Africa after putting into bat first got off to a good start courtesy Quinton de Kock. The southpaw raced out of the blocks with his customary belligerence, with Reeza Hendricks offering solid support. The opening pair added 91 runs for the first wicket within 15 overs to set a strong platform for the middle-order batsmen to come and play their shorts. Skipper Lasith Malinga finally got the wicket of Hendricks (29), but that saw the Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis making his way into the middle. He also forged a strong partnership with de Kock before he got out six short of another brilliant century.
De Kock leads the charge
Quinton de Kock mainly relied on boundaries as he struck 17 and one six of those in his knock of 94 runs. He has now passed 80 in five of his last seven international knocks without going onto a century. De Kock also got out with a leading edge off Thisara Perera giving a simple catch to wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella. Perera added the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen while Wiaan Mulder failed to capitalise on his fast start when he was bowled around his leg by a Vishwa Fernando off-cutter. Du Plessis followed his first-game century with a fifty here but fell soon after completing his 5000th ODI run. He became Thisara Perera’s third victim of the day when a short delivery kept low and knocked off his middle stump. South Africa lost their final six wickets for 31 runs and were all out with 4.5 overs to spare.
The visiting team came back well after heroics from de Kock as the bowling attack shared the ten wickets among themselves. Malinga and de Silva bagged two wickets apiece while Perera chipped in with three to cause a late collapse. However, they failed to capitalise on the late momentum as the batsmen gave away their opportunity to make a comeback in the game.
Here is the scoreboard of the South Africa innings against Sri Lanka at Centurion:
With 2-0 lead in the series, South Africa will look wrap up the five-match series on March 10 (Sunday) at Durban.