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You are here: Cricket One Day Internationals Proteas adapt to take 2-0 series lead

Proteas adapt to take 2-0 series lead

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The Proteas' squad learned important lessons in patience and handling pressure as they chased down a par victory target to beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets in the second Sunfoil ODI at Buffalo Park on Saturday. They now lead the five-match series 2-0 with the opportunity to clinch it in the third match at Chevrolet Park on Tuesday (early start).

They also showed their ability to adapt to changing conditions after they had won the toss and decided to bowl first. Conditions were heavily overcast and humid throughout the day with occasional sprinklings of light rain and this no doubt influenced AB de Villiers to take the decision he did. It probably also explained why he gave Dale Steyn first crack with the new ball.

But there was no sign of either swing or seam on a slow pitch which was probably the best surface that Sri Lanka could have hoped for under South African conditions.

The pace of the slick outfield made up for some of the slowness of the pitch and the Sri Lankan total of 236/6, built around an unbeaten 92 from the rapidly maturing Dinesh Chandimal (115 balls, 6 fours) compared well with the average of previous international matches at this venue.

It looked as though the Proteas would have a fairly easy ride after Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith put on 76 for the first wicket in 17 overs but, once Amla departed for 55 (58 balls, 5 fours and 2 sixes), they became a bit becalmed.

The other batsmen struggled to bat with the same fluency as the No. 1 ranked ODI batsman and it required some ugly cricket to get the Proteas over the line at the end. JP Duminy showed a welcome return to form in becoming the rock on which the successful runs chase was based, finishing unbeaten on 66 off 87 balls with just a solitary six.

This followed a useful six-over bowling spell and some good work in the field to win the Sunfoil Man of the Match award.