JOHANNESBURG - A typically flamboyant half century by Quinton de Kock, backed up another top class performance from South Africa’s bowlers, saw the tourists claim a 2-0 lead in the five-match One-Day International series against Sri Lanka yesterday.
“The Test series was disappointing, but these conditions are more in favour of both teams, although towards the end the wicket did get a little bit ‘tired’ after almost 200 overs of cricket,” said South African captain Faf du Plessis after yesterday's four wicket victory. “I’m very pleased with how we are chasing the game. We are very positive and putting their spinners under pressure.”
Angelo Mathews again chose to bat first after winning the toss and Sri Lanka again handed the initiative to the South Africans early on with Lungi Ngidi picking up two wickets in the second over of the innings. Unlike last Sunday when they slumped to 36/5 in the ninth over, the Sri Lankan top order showed some back bone, with Niroshan Dickwella leading the way with an aggressive innings of 69.
Together with Mathews (79) - hamstrung in the latter overs with marshalling the lower order - Dickwella shared an important partnership of 67 for the fifth wicket, but his dismissal in the 26th over was probably the difference between a target of 290 and what Sri Lanka eventually set the Proteas.
While Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada were again good with the new ball, the major improvement in South Africa’s bowling came from the two young seam bowling all-rounders; Andile Phehlukwayo and Wiaan Mulder. That duo conceded 64 runs, Phehlukwayo’s finishing with 3/45 in nine overs while Mulder claimed 1/26 from seven. Ngidi finished with 3/50.