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De Kock leads with the bat before Proteas quicks finish the job

Wed, 6th Mar 2019

ON a day of astonishing batting collapses on which the Standard Bank Proteas lost 9/120 and Sri Lanka then did even worse, losing 9/109, the home side triumphed by a very comfortable 113 runs in the second Momentum One-Day International at SuperSport Park on Wednesday to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.

Quinton de Kock’s 94 off 70 balls (17 fours and a six) and to a lesser extent Faf du Plessis’ 57 off 66 balls (7 fours) after the visitors had won the toss and opted to bowl first stood out like beacons of batting brilliance with the only other batsman to go past 30 being Sri Lanka’s Oshada Fernando (31 off 45 balls, 3 fours).

In total the match only lasted 77.3 overs out of the permissible 100.

In the circumstances De Kock, who stood out for his class, mastery and timing that made the game look ridiculously simple, was an obvious choice as Momentum Man of the Match. Du Plessis was unlucky to be bowled by a ball that kept low and gave him no chance with the pair having made far more runs than anybody else in the series to date.

The Sri Lanka bowling effort was typical of the entire tour to date with a terrier never-say-die attitude that kept them hanging in even at a stage when the Proteas reached 130 with only one man out in the 20th over. At that stage a total well in excess of 300 seemed little more than a formality.

But Sri Lanka had other ideas led by veteran Thisara Perera with the last six wickets, starting with Du Plessis’ dismissal falling for only 31 runs and the Proteas falling five overs short of batting out their overs.

With a modest total of 251 to defend the Proteas pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje produced a display of high entensity and with a little help from Imran Tahir as well had the visitors back in the pavilion in 32.2 overs.

Kagiso Rabada, who topped the speed gun going comfortably past the 150km/h mark, also topped the bowling charts (3/43) while there were two wickets each for the other three frontline bowlers. The three speedsters between them took 7/82 in 21.2 overs of lightning destruction.

It was a memorable night for Rabada who took his 100th ODI wicket in only his 64th match, drawing level with Allan Donald in third place on the SA all-time fastest list behind Imran Tahir and Morne Morkel.

There was also a milestone for Du Plessis who scored his 5 000th ODI run and became the 10th fastest batsman of all time in terms of innings played to reach this mark. He is also the third fastest South African to reach this mark behind Hashim Amla, who is the world leader, and AB de Villiers.

The third Momentum ODI will be played at Kingsmead on Sunday (10h00 start).