De Kock ends hundred wait as Proteas seal series win

By Sports Desk March 10, 2019

Quinton de Kock ended his near 18-month wait for an ODI century as South Africa sealed a series triumph over Sri Lanka by taking a 3-0 lead with a 71-run win on the DLS method at Kingsmead.

Opener De Kock had failed to convert his past six ODI half-centuries into a ton – including in the first two rubbers of the five-match series – and let out a shout of delight after finally reaching triple figures in a fine knock of 121 off 108 balls.

Rassie van der Dussen contributed 50 before Andile Phehlukwayo fired an unbeaten 38 off 15 deliveries to see the Proteas reach 331-5 at the end of their innings.

Sri Lanka were 75-2 after 16 overs when rain interrupted the match and they never looked like getting the 121 runs needed from the 48 balls remaining when play eventually restarted.

Reeza Hendricks was the only Proteas batsman not to make a telling contribution in Durban, a score of four taking his total for the series to just 34.

In contrast, De Kock was confident and composed from the off and he really kicked into gear in the 13th over, beginning a spell that saw him claim 39 runs off 14 balls faced by smashing Akila Dananjaya (0-56 from nine overs) over the ropes at wide long on.

The opener added another seven boundaries before Lasith Malinga returned and drew a leading edge from Faf du Plessis (36), but De Kock would not be moved and brought up his first hundred since October 2017 with a sweet shot past point.

After sending Kasun Rajitha to the boundary three times he edged a full and wide delivery behind to Niroshan Dickwella in the same over, but Van der Dussen and David Miller (41 not out) ensured there was no collapse from the strong position of 187-3 with 19 overs remaining.

South Africa finished with a flourish thanks to Phehlukwayo, the all-rounder contributing five fours and one maximum in a brilliant cameo, with a miscommunication in the field costing Sri Lanka the chance to remove him in the final over.

Sri Lanka lost openers Dickwella (2) and Avishka Fernando (23) inside eight overs and their hopes of reaching an unlikely adjusted total was dealt a blow when Tabraiz Shamsi snared Oshada Fernando with the first ball after the restart.

Kusal Mendis racked up four fours and a pair of maximums before being caught and bowled by Imran Tahir (2-19), leaving Sri Lanka playing solely for pride.

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