Quinton de Kock completed five successive ODI half-centuries to equal the South African record he already jointly holds with Jonty Rhodes to set the Standard Bank Proteas on their way to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka with more than 17 overs to spare in the fourth Momentum One-Day International at St. George’s Park on Wednesday.
They now lead the series 4-0 and have the opportunity to complete a clean sweep in the final match at PPC Newlands on Saturday (13h00).
Sri Lanka put up one of their weakest performances of their entire tour as they were shot out for 189 in 39.2 overs and it would have been a lot worse but for a cavalier innings by Momentum Man of the Match Isuru Udana who came to the crease at a disastrous 97/7 at the end of the 25th over and scored 78 (57 balls, 7 fours and 4 sixes) out of the remaining 92 runs in the innings. This included making 55 out of the 10th wicket partnership of 58 with Kasun Rajitha – the other three were made up of wides) – that constituted a Sri Lankan record for the final wicket.
Anrich Nortje returned career best figures of 3/57 in 8 overs, having had figures of 3/19 after his first 6 overs and then bearing the brunt of the Udana onslaught in his later spell.
De Kock (51 off 57 balls, 6 fours) soon put the result beyond doubt after sharing a second wicket stand of 56 with the recalled Aiden Markram and a further stand of 43 for the third with Faf du Plessis. When De Kock was dismissed the target was down to 80 runs with 29 overs still available and, although Du Plessis also departed, the finishing touches were comfortably supplied by David Miller and JP Duminy.
The latter, making his comeback from injury, was in sparkling form, scoring an unbeaten 31 off 21 balls (4 fours and a six) and, although there was little for him to do when he came to the crease, his innings was probably one of the biggest plusses on the evening for the Proteas.
The Proteas once again underlined the depth of their bowling resources with both Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir being rested, giving Dale Steyn his first outing of the series and allowing a further opportunity for Tabraiz Shamsi who bowled as well as anybody for his return of 1/34 from a full complement of 10 overs.