Proteas stand-in captain Quinton de Kock made a half-century in the final ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday. Photo: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

CAPE TOWN – The Proteas may have lost the last two ODIs, but stand-in captain Quinton de Kock has praised his team for clinching the series against Sri Lanka.

The South Africans had a torrid time during the two Test matches, losing 2-0 after going down by 278 and 199 runs respectively.

They had great difficulty in countering the spin threats of the Sri Lankans, but better pitches that actually weren’t far off those in South Africa made things a bit fairer for the Proteas in the ODIs.

The visitors took full advantage, clinching the series 3-0 after three consecutive victories.

They nearly made it 4-0, but lost their way towards the end of a reduced Duckworth-Lewis target, but those old spinning nightmares seemed to return on Sunday in the final game.

The SA batsmen looked all at sea against the turn of Akila Dananjaya, who took 6/29, as they crashed to a 178-run defeat.

But that isn’t getting De Kock down. “To come to Sri Lanka and the sub-continent, it is always difficult to win series’ here,” he said.

“We saw in the Test matches, it was never easy for us. We came into the ODIs down, and winning the first few matches and the series is pleasing for us as a team.

“To do it in the first few matches is a big plus. It was never easy initially, but we did it.”

The Proteas wicket-keeper was also happy with the progress of pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.

“Those two are high-class bowlers,” De Kock said. “They have been around for a while in Test matches and T20s as well.

“They are always looking to take wickets, they naturally take wickets and they strike upfront in all formats.

“That is why we have given some of the new guys like Junior (Dala) and the other seam bowlers a chance, to learn how to take wickets and how to bowl in certain situations. That is one positive we will take from the two matches.

“When you play the young guys, there will always be mistakes made. As long as you learn from it going forward, that is all that matters.”

Quinton de Kock speaks about the Proteas’ ODI series win over Sri Lanka. Video: Cricket South Africa

The Proteas end their tour with a T20 international on Tuesday (3.30pm SA time).

 

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