SA clean-sweep Sri Lanka at Newlands

South Africa clinched the fifth and final one day international against Sri Lanka by 41 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method at PPC Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday in bizarre circumstances.

The home side were cruising on 135 for two after 28 overs, still needing 91 runs in 22 overs when the one floodlight went out, with the umpires taking the players from the field. Ground staff tried in vein to get the broken floodlight to work again but at 21h15 the match officials called an end to proceedings with South Africa 41 runs ahead of the DLS par score of 94.

Sri Lanka had won the toss and elected to bat first and struggled with the pace of the pitch and the South African attack as Lungi Ngidi (5-1-16-1) and Kagiso Rabada (10-1-50-3) had the visitors in early trouble at 14 for two. Ngidi had Avishka Fernando (9) caught at third slip by Aiden Markram before Rabada accounted for Upal Tharanga (2), who edged behind to Quinton de Kock.

Oshada Fernando (22) and Kusal Mendis (56) tried to steady the ship with a stand of 49 for the third wicket but then the leg-spin of Imran Tahir (10-1-33-2) broke the stand. Tahir had set up Oshada with the batsman edging the spinner past slip, only to repeat the feat two balls later with Faf du Plessis taking a good catch at first slip.

Angelo Perera (31) was aggressive and played with real intent, striking three boundaries and rotating the strike with ease as he and Mendis, who brought up his fifty off 72 deliveries, added a good 62 runs for the fourth wicket off 71 balls but then Tahir and Du Plessis combined again to see the end of Angelo with the South African captain taking a sharp catch low down at first slip.

Worse was to come for the visitors with Mendis being run out at the non-strikers end with Ngidi throwing in quickly from the boundary as both batsmen were left stranded in the middle of the pitch. Mendis faced 84 deliveries for his 56, his second of the series, which included three fours.

Thisara Perera (2) and Dhanajaya de Silva (12) did not last long but then a busy partnership between Priyaman Perera (33) and Iduru  Udana (32) gave the Sri Lankans something to bowl at as the Lankans were looking well-short of reaching 200.

The pair added 61 runs for the eighth wicket off only 53 balls before Rabada had Udana caught on the boundary by Tahir, who was looking into the sun and took a good catch. Rabada picked up the wicket of Priyaman off the very next ball, who skyied a delivery which the bowler caught himself.

Anrich Notje (9.3-0-35-2) then completed the innings, having the Sri Lankan captain, Lasith Malinga, caught by JP Duminy for three as the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 225.

In reply, the home side lost the early wicket of man of the series De Kock for six, caught on the backward square leg boundary off Malinga (6-0-22-1) but man of the match Markam and Du Plessis then composed themselves and added 70 for the second wicket off 87 balls before the Proteas captain edged Thisara (5-0-20-1) to Mendis behind the stumps for 24.

Markram, who registered his highest ODI score before play was suspended, ended on 67 not out from 75 deliveries which included seven boundaries while Rassie van der Dussen finished the game unbeaten on 28 from 37 balls with the pair completing the match with an unbeaten stand of 57.

De Kock finished the series with 353 runs at an average of 70.60 with Du Plessis second on 272 runs. Mendis was the only other player to register more than 200 runs, finishing on 202 runs. Tahir finished the five-match series as the leading wicket taker, finishing with nine wickets while Ngidi, Nortje and Rabada all finished with eight wickets apiece.

South Africa will now hope to have their preparations complete for the ICC Cricket World Cup which starts in England on 30 May 2019 but the sides will finish off proceedings with the first of three KFC T20 matches here at Newlands on Tuesday.

Author: Brendon

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