Sri Lanka had lost their 6th consecutive ODI as they went down to South Africa in the 3rd ODI between the two sides, after failing to chase down the D/L target of 193 runs in 24 overs today. Sri Lanka was punished for their slippery fielding and ordinary bowling by a Quinton de Kock-led batting line up as South Africa secured the series 3-0 with another 2 matches left to be played.
Sri Lanka skipper Lasith Malinga called correctly at the toss for the second time in a row and put South Africa in to bat again in the 3rd ODI in Kingsmead, Durban.
Sri Lanka made two changes to the side as fast bowler Isuru Udana and ambidextrous all-rounder Kamindu Mendis were added to the playing XI at the expense of Dhananjaya de Silva and Vishwa Fernando. Mendis was handed a debut after some exciting performances at the domestic and Sri Lanka A stages.
South Africa on the other hand, played with two specialist spinners in Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi, the latter playing his first game of the series. The hosts omitted Wiaan Mulder for Dwaine Pretorius to strengthen the pace attack, while Anrich Nortje who had an impressive game at Centurion was surprisingly left out too.
The South African opening pair of Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks got off to a decent start but Hendricks chipped one to mid-off when he was on 4 as he couldn’t decipher Isuru Udana’s slower one, giving the bowler his first ODI wicket.
Captain Faf du Plessis combined with his deputy de Kock to absolutely decimate the Sri Lankan bowlers as the pair compiled 97 runs in just 10.4 overs. Du Plessis was in fine touch after his good form in the past couple of tournaments and de Kock didn’t hold back either. Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya and Thisara Perera all went the distance before skipper Malinga had to bring himself on to break the partnership.
While fielding at mid-off, Kusal Perera injured himself as he dived to stop a boundary. He clutched his leg immediately, left the field and never came back.
De Kock went on to score a blistering century in just 89 balls, punishing the wayward bowlers. His innings included 16 fours and 2 massive sixes. When he was caught behind off Kasun Rajitha’s bowling, the wicketkeeper-batsman had made 121, continuing from the form which has seen him make 80, 81, 94, 121 in his last 4 ODI innings.
Rassie van der Dussen slowly collected a solid fifty to his name before becoming the first ODI wicket for debutant Kamindu Mendis. Mendis finished his spell with figures of 1-45, consolidating in the middle part of the South Africa innings to help captain’s plans.
Sri Lanka’s fielding was mediocre throughout the innings as they gave away easy singles and twos to the South African batsmen and missed a couple of crucial catches.
With the finishing touches of David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo, South Africa set a target of 331 for Sri Lanka to chase. Apart from the sole ODI where Sri Lanka chased down 200+ vs Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka’s last 200+ ODI chase came way back in 2017 in the Champions Trophy vs India in that famous game at The Oval, London.
Chasing a target of 332, Sri Lanka were reduced to 35-2 inside 7 overs as the openers were sent back to the hut by Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada. The pace duo was touching over 145kph almost every delivery in their opening spell and the Sri Lankan batters found it hard to handle the pace.
But then Kusal Mendis came together with Oshada Fernando to slow things down and solidify the innings. The pair added 40 runs before rain interrupted the game.
When the rain finally ceased, half of the Sri Lanka team’s overs were washed out and they were given a steep target of 193 runs in 24 overs, meaning Sri Lanka needed another 118 runs in just 48 balls to win.
Coming back to the uphill chase, Oshada Fernando was dismissed with the very first legal delivery as he tried to guide one down to third man and nicked one to de Kock off Tabraiz Shamsi’s bowling.
Kusal Mendis tried to keep up with the daunting required run rate but failed after making 41 off 31 balls. Eventually Sri Lanka ended at 121-5 after the allocated 24 overs to grant South Africa a win by 71 runs and the series as well.
Unsurprisingly, Quinton de Kock was named the Player of the Match for his game defining century. The next ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka, which will be a dead rubber, will commence on March 13th at Port Elizabeth as a day and night encounter.
SA won by 71 runs (DLS)
South Africa’s Innings
|Quinton de Kock||c N Dickwella b K Rajitha||121||108|
|Reeza Hendricks||c L Malinga b I Udana||4||11|
|Faf du Plessis||c N Dickwella b L Malinga||36||27|
|Rassie vd Dussen||lbw by K Mendis||50||67|
|David Miller||not out||41||46|
|Dwaine Pretorius||b I Udana||31||26|
|Andile Phehlukwayo||not out||38||15|
Sri Lanka’s Innings
|Avishka Fernando||c T Shamsi b L Ngidi||23||26|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c I Tahir b K Rabada||2||7|
|Oshada Fernando||c de Kock b T Shamsi||25||44|
|Kusal Mendis||c & b I Tahir||41||31|
|Thisara Perera||c vd Dussen b I Tahir||12||14|
|Kamindu Mendis||not out||8||13|
|Isuru Udana||not out||0||9|