De Kock shines as South Africa clinch T20I series against Sri Lanka

By Sports Desk September 12, 2021

Quinton de Kock hit an unbeaten 58 as South Africa clinched the T20I series against Sri Lanka with a nine-wicket thumping on Sunday.

The Proteas, who won Friday's opener in the series by 28 runs, were hardly tested by their flat opponents, who managed just 103 in 18.1 overs. That was their lowest first-innings total at home in this short format.

South Africa wasted little time chasing that figure down, De Kock helping them open up a 2-0 series lead inside 15 overs.

Sri Lanka had little answer to South Africa's spinners – Bjorn Fortuin, Aiden Markram, captain Keshav Maharai and Tabraiz Shamsi – who took nine wickets and conceded just 63 runs in their 14.1 overs.

Markram finished with a career-best three for 21, which included the wicket of opener Kusal Perera for 30.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa was Sri Lanka's next highest scorer with 20 as the hosts lost seven for a paltry 32 runs between the 10th and 19th overs.

Sri Lanka failed to get rid of De Kock with a review following the fourth delivery of South Africa's innings and the 28-year-old did not look back.

He brought up his 10th T20I fifty, and fourth of the year, after his opening stand with Reeza Hendricks was broken in the ninth over when Hendricks was caught by Dinesh Chandimal off the bowling of Wanindu Hasaranga.

Markram added an unbeaten 21 as South Africa reached their target with almost seven overs to spare.

De Kock proves his importance

De Kock was rested for the ODI series, which Sri Lanka won 2-1, and he showed his worth here. He steered his side to victory with an unbeaten 58 off 48 deliveries and will be a key figure if South Africa are to challenge for the T20 World Cup, which begins next month.

Perera not backed up by team-mates

Perera got Sri Lanka off to a solid start with 30 from 25 balls, but his team-mates failed miserably to capitalise. The 31-year-old, making his comeback after recovering from COVID-19, hit a third of his side's runs, with only three others reaching double figures.

Related items

  • Steelers star Watt says 'door open' to face Bengals after groin injury Steelers star Watt says 'door open' to face Bengals after groin injury

    Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt said the door is open for him to face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 of the NFL season.

    Watt is listed as questionable for Sunday's clash after injuring his groin in last week's 26-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    But the three-time Pro Bowler is hopeful of suiting up at home to the Bengals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

    "Doesn't matter how many reps I get throughout the week," Steelers star Watt said on Friday. "I was able to still run around here and do a lot of things that I need to do to keep the door open for Sunday.

    "I'm excited to get the rest of today and tomorrow to continue to improve my body and see where I'm at on Sunday.

    "... This isn't going around and playing Pee Wee football. This is playing against guys doing this for a living, so trying to be smart.

    "At the same time, knowing your body more than anything. I felt like I did a good amount this week to leave the door open for Sunday."

    Cincinnati ended a 10-game losing streak to Pittsburgh when the Bengals (1-1) beat the Steelers (1-1) 27-17 in Week 15 of last season.

    In the all-time series, the Steelers have 65 wins in their 101 games against the Bengals, which is the most wins by any team against Cincinnati.

    The Steelers, meanwhile, were held to 39 yards rushing in their loss to the Raiders, bringing the team's season rushing total to a league-worst 114 rushing yards.

    Since Mike Tomlin became head coach in 2007, Pittsburgh have been held to under 40 yards rushing in 20 different games with only the Arizona Cardinals having more such games in that span (22).

  • Dak Prescott looking forward to 'special' Cowboys homecoming after injury Dak Prescott looking forward to 'special' Cowboys homecoming after injury
  • Ronaldo can play into his 40s, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer Ronaldo can play into his 40s, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Red Devils superstar Cristiano Ronaldo can play football into his 40s.

    Ronaldo returned to Premier League giants United before the transfer window closed and the evergreen 36-year-old has scored four goals in his first three matches back at the club.

    As Ronaldo continues to defy his age, Solskjaer does not anticipate the five-time Ballon d'Or winner slowing down any time soon.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if he was still playing at 40, not at all," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.

    "The way he looks after himself, that's the key, that's the key to it all and, of course, some genes. There must be some genes in there! He has put every single ounce of energy and effort into becoming the player he is.

    "He deserves every single plaudit that he gets for first, his own physical state but, even more impressively, when you have achieved as much as he has. He is still just as hungry as ever.

    "His mentality is still absolutely spot on and that's just desire from inside of him and he's going to keep going until his legs or even his head say no that's it, I've given everything now."

    United – level with Chelsea and Liverpool atop the Premier League – have won 18 of their last 21 home league games against Villa (D2 L1), failing to score on just one occasion in that run.

    In Premier League history, no side has won more games against an opponent than United's 37 victories against Villa.

    Since a goalless draw with Manchester City last December, United have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League home games (44 goals in total). However, Solskjaer's men have also conceded in each of their last seven league games at Old Trafford, last having a longer top-flight home run without a clean sheet in February 1972 (8 games).

    United are the highest scorers in the Premier League so far this season with 13 goals. With an expected goals total of eight, the Manchester outfit are also overperforming their xG more than any other side this season (five goals more).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.