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South Africa seamers script 2-0 series lead

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The Proteas seamers again restricted Sri Lanka to a below par total to enable the visitors to complete the Dambulla double and go 2-0 up in the five-match ODI series on Wednesday. The winning margin was 4 wickets with 43 balls to spare.

Sri Lanka again won the toss and decided to bat first but were placed under immediate pressure when Lungi Ngidi took two wickets off successive balls in his opening over.


Although they did manage a few half-centuries partnerships thereafter headed by the 67 for the fourth wicket between Angelo Mathews (79 not out off 111 balls, 6 fours) and Niroshan Dickwella (69 off 78 balls, 10 fours), the Proteas always managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals to restrict Sri Lanka to 244/8 from their 50 overs.

All eight wickets fell to the seamers with Ngidi (3/50 in 8 overs) and Andile Phehlukwayo 3/45 in 9 overs) being the most successful.

The two spinners also played their role with JP Duminy and Tabraiz Shamsi conceding only 73 runs from the 17 overs they bowled between them.

Whatever chance Sri Lanka had of getting back into the game disappeared when they gave both Hashim Amla and Man of the Match Quinton de Kock early lives as they set about a first wicket partnership of 91 that included 67 in the opening power play.

De Kock and Faf du Plessis then added 53 for the third and, although they lost more wickets than they would have liked towards the end of their chase, they still got comfortably across the line.

De Kock (87 off 78 balls, 13 fours and a six) was the major contributor. He looked as though a century was his for the taking until he went for a big hit to be caught in the deep. Had he cleared the boundary he would have taken his ODI career total to the 4 000 mark.

The Proteas will nevertheless be pleased to see their opening pair once again putting a big partnership on the board. They have big roles to play as the team builds its way towards next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.

Spinner Akila Dananjaya was the only really threatening Sri Lankan bowler and, although he took 3 wickets in an outstanding effort, he still had to concede more than 50 runs from his 10 overs.

The third ODI will be played on Sunday at Pallekele as a day game.