South Africa clinched a 40-run win over Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI played under lights at Newland’s Stadium in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Upul Tharanga smashed the first century for Sri Lanka on tour to give the visitors a reasonable chance of chasing down South Africa’s mammoth first innings score of 367 which was propelled by Faf Du Plessis’ excellent, career-best 185 but the Lankans were restricted to 327, their first 300+ score throughout the tour as Wayne Parnell picked up 4 crucial wickets for the hosts.
Captain Tharanga clobbered a 73-ball century, his 14th overall as Sri Lanka went past 200 for the very first time in the series but could not match up to Du Plessis’ stunning effort.
Photos of the Sri Lanka v South Africa | 4th ODI 2017
Chasing a gigantic, record 368 runs to win, the Lankan opening duo, Dickwella and Tharanga from the same club, Nondescript Cricket Club in Colombo notched up 100 off the first 10 overs.
They simply put the bowlers off their target by timing the ball beautifully and slog-sweeping the spinners, Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir, especially the Captain who took the advantages of field restrictions to the maximum.
Dickwella departed on 58 to end the 139-run opening stand as Dwayne Pretorious deceived the batsman with the lack of pace to induce a simple leading edge to deep square leg. Tharanga was then joined by Kusal Mendis and they notched up another 64 runs before the latter gloved a Parnell delivery to De Kock.
Tharanga’s superlative innings came to an end when he guided it to backward point off Parnell but Sandun Weerakkody, another member of Nondescript Cricket Club who replaced Vice-Captain Dinesh Chandimal for this match slammed his maiden ODI fifty in only his second game. He put on a valuable 79-run stand for the 5th wicket with Asela Gunarathne but the Islanders lost their last 6 wickets for just 20 runs inside 5 overs.
Earlier in the day, after opting to bat first, South Africa lost Hashim Amla when he poked lazily at a Lahiru Kumara delivery outside off and fended to first slip in only the second over of the match. Du Plessis, who walked out to bat at No. 3 first combined with Quinton de Kock and later with AB de Villiers to add back-to-back century stands and help the Proteas take command over the proceedings.
Left-handed De Kock finding form for the first time in the series, reached a half-century off only 40 balls and hit seven fours and two sixes in his 46-ball innings before he was caught at slip off left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana.
Du Plessis and De Villiers added 137 off 122 balls for the third wicket before De Villiers missed a sweep against Pathirana and was bowled for 64 off 62 balls, his 50th ODI fifty. JP Duminy did not last long but Du Plessis continued to pounce on the Lankan attack. Pathirana was Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler, taking two for 55 and conceding only two boundaries in his ten overs.
The long-held number of 188, notched up by Gary Kirsten in the 1996 World Cup game against the UAE, was at stake. But Du Plessis, struggling from cramps clubbed one high into the air and Asela Gunaratne, running from long on settled under it to hold on to the catch safely.
Incidentally, this is South Africa’s 13th successive ODI win at home and with the fifth and final ODI coming up on Friday, the Proteas’ have a great opportunity to claim a whitewash and the World’s No.1 ranking.