De Kock ton sets base for SA’s 331
March 10, 2019 05:47 pm
Quinton de Kock cashed in on his good form and laid the foundation for South Africa’s 331/5 in the third one-dayer against Sri Lanka. Having come into the Durban encounter with three successive fifty-plus scores to his credit, he worked his to his 14th ODI century, a 108-ball entertainer of 121, which included 16 boundaries and two sixes.
Both teams came in to the match with two changes each. Ambidextrous spinner Kamindu Mendis was handed his maiden ODI cap, coming in along with Isuru Udana in place of Vishva Fernando and Dhananjaya de Silva. For South Africa, Anrich Nortje and Wiaan Mulder made way for Tabraiz Shamsi and Dwaine Pretorius.
Despite dismissing Reeza Hendricks early, after he chipped a checked drive to the mid off fielder in the fourth over, Sri Lanka struggled to take control of the proceedings. It was largely due to the regular hits to the boundary fence by de Kock.
The ‘keeper-batsman, who had started his innings with two boundaries off the first two balls, hogged the majority of the strike in the second-wicket partnership with Faf du Plessis. Having brought up his half-century off 49 balls, he quickly raced to 77 in his next eight balls, a period which included three consecutive boundaries off Thisara Perera and a six over the long on fence off Akila Dhananjaya. South Africa went to the first drinks break at 120 for 1 in 16 overs, with the second-wicket pair adding 96 off only 62 balls.
Du Plessis, who had played a fine second fiddle till then, having worked his way to a 27-ball 36 - which included 7 fours - departed soon after the break. Malinga, who returned to the attack, got the ball to bounce steep and induced an edge off the South African skipper’s bat while he attempted a pull and had him caught behind.
Sri Lanka’s helplessness came as much from the South African assault and a helpless wicket for the bowlers as it did by their inability to operate in tight channels. Even as there were periods of some good bowling, with a mix of pace and bounce, inconsistency proved to be their nemesis.
Even after de Kock fell in the 31st over, edging to the ‘keeper, the middle order ensured they didn’t get into a panic mode. Rassie van der Dussen only made his case stronger for a place in the XI in a full-strength side with his fourth half-century. He consolidated the innings with David Miller, adding 44 for the fourth wicket before becoming Kamindu’s maiden ODI wicket.
Miller struggled to get the big shots going. But in the company of Dwaine Pretorius (26-ball 31) and Andile Phehlukwayo (15-ball 38*), he lifted the team total past the 300-run mark. The big-hitting southpaw, who came out to bat in the 31st over managed to hit only three boundaries in his 46-ball 41*. but his partners ensured the hosts milked 99 runs in the last 10 overs.
Udana was the most impressive of bowlers, using his variations well and returning two wickets. It was only a massive hit for a six in the second tier and a deft boundary by Phehlukwayo in his final over that cost 14 which hurt his figures.
Brief Scores: South Africa 331/5 in 50 overs (Quinton de Kock 121, Rassie van der Dussen 50; Isuru Udana 2-50, Kamindu Mendis 1-45) vs Sri Lanka.