SA leaves Sri Lanka pink and blue

Niroshan Dickwella walks back to the pavilion after being bowled by Dwaine Pretorius.

South Africa’s bowling and Ab de Villiers’ brilliance with the bat once again hurt a struggling Sri Lanka side, when the Proteas beat the visitors by seven wickets at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium to gain an unassailable 3–0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

The fifth Pink One Day International (ODI) saw a crowd and Proteas team dressed in pink in support of PinkDrive. While the Wanderers is known to have a pitch designed for big scores, the match on 4 February was a low-scoring encounter that required class and grit from batsmen.

Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella opened with the bat well for the Lions, but after Tharanga fell for 31 runs, Sri Lanka lost too many wickets too often. In-form Dickwella held on to score his second ODI half-century, but when he gloved a ball from Pretorius – which was caught by Quinton de Kock after adjusting the line of his dive – for 74 runs, Sri Lanka seemed to lose confidence.

The Lions were all-out for 163 runs after 39 overs. Man-of-the-match, Dwaine Pretorius took three wickets for 19 runs off his seven overs.

Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla started the South African innings with intent, and took 10 runs off Lahiru Kumara’s first over – the second over of the innings. But Kumara came back and immediately nabbed De Kock for eight runs. Faf du Plessis came to the wicket for his 100th ODI and brazenly hit his first ball for six. He and Amla started to build a solid partnership that looked to go all the way, before Du Plessis fell for 24 runs, caught off the bowling of Lahiru Madushanka.

AB de Villiers was in fine touch and was soon outscoring Amla, who was later run out for 34 runs. With a meagre target remaining, De Villiers and JP Duminy worked the ball cleverly around the field safely, without giving away any more chances. The pair crossed the line for South Africa, with De Villiers scoring his 49th ODI half-century and finishing not out on 60. Duminy finished on 28 not out.

For spectator, Tim Laxton, Sri Lanka’s performance was poor and as much as he had expected it to be judging from previous games. Emma Hardham commented that it was nice to see the Proteas win, and for so many fans to give money to PinkDrive through an SMS system on the day. Daniel Lombard and Christo Rose said the game was good to watch, but they had hoped to see Du Plessis score 100 runs in his 100th game.

An interesting event occurred in the 26th over of Sri Lanka’s innings when a small swarm of bees invaded the field, and play had to be suspended until a bee keeper came and removed the bees with honeycomb.

Nicholas Zaal
News Editor

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