It was the second time that South Africa was able to chase down the total in this series which also means they only need one more victory to clinch the trophy and the series. Sri Lanka has been in a very poor form and they continued to perform in the same way when they managed to score only 244 runs in 50 overs in an innings which never really got going. On this occasion, South Africa batted under the lights to achieve the total in the 43rd over of the match with a ball to spare.
South Africa had already won the first half of the innings with impressive bowling spells from all the bowlers. The team will be more happy with the performances of the two new additions in the team, Wiaan Mulder and Aldine Phehlukwayo as they bowled extremely well and gave away only 64 runs in their share of 16 Overs. They also shared 4 wickets of the Sri Lankan batsman. Both the bowlers were showing their skills as Phehlukwayo testing the batsman with knuckleballs and on the other hand, Mulder was the most economical bowler.
South Africa will be excited with the return to form of Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock. Things worked in their favor as Sri Lanka continued to display poor performance in the field. For Sri Lanka, this series has been full of soft dismissals, dropped catches and misfields and these are the only things which sum up their story. This was the 9th consecutive loss for Sri Lanka at home which shows their carelessness about the game in the current time period.
Sri Lanka started off in the worst possible way as both the openers gifted their wickets to Lungi Ngidi in the very first over. Gates were open for South Africa to take wickets in quick succession but Dickwella had other plans with partner Kusal Perera as he played some aggressive shots over the infield to put pressure on the bowlers. It was the spell of Mulder and Phehlukwayo that broke the partnership as they bowled economically to put pressure on the batsman. Sri Lanka could only finish with 244 runs and they had lost 8 of their wickets in 50 overs.
The chase would not have been easy for South Africa but the team benefited from the ragged Sri Lankan effort in the field. This gave South Africa's opening pair a boost to score quickly. Hashim Amla managed to score 43 at a run a ball and De Kock scored 87 of 78 balls, this knock was a crucial one for the team and for De Kock too. He would have wanted to get to the century mark but he lost his wicket to Suranga Lakmal.
South Africa continued to play nicely and scored at a healthy strike rate. The job was well handled by two veterans captain Faf Du Plessis and JP Duminy. Captain lost his wicket one run short of another half century and Duminy scored 32 before he lost his wicket too. The final runs were scored by the new members of the squad Mulder and Phehlukwayo, they had already performed well with the ball and deserved to finish the game. The all-rounder duo is looking promising and in a good shape to play for their nation in bigger matches to come. Quinton De Kock was later announced as the man of the match.
Sri Lanka has been performing terribly in the home games, 9th consecutive loss at home is worrisome and there is a need to take steps which could bring back the competitive nature of the team towards other cricketing nations. We hope best for such a big cricketing nation which has produced some legends like Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara and many more.
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