Sri Lanka chose to field after winning the toss. The Lankan bowling attack led by Lasith Malinga, who returned to ODIs after 19 months, was brilliant in the morning. They kept Proteas under four runs per over in the first powerplay, 32/0.
Nuwan Pradeep brought the first breakthrough by sending back Quinton de Kock for 42-ball 23. Faf du Plessis also started slowly like Hashim Amla. After being set, these two opened their shoulders and put Sri Lanka under pressure. These two added 145.
du Plessis scored his 28th ODI fifty in 52 balls as he made 75 runs off 70 deliveries with 6 fours.
Amla, who reached fifty in 56 balls after slow start, started to build up his innings. At one stage, he and South Africa couldn’t get runs at ease. There were dot balls being bowled by the Lankan Lions and the boundaries dried up.
But that didn’t stop Amla score his 25th ODI hundred in 151 innings which is the fastest in the history. He couldn’t stay any longer. He left scoring 103 runs from 115 balls hitting only 5 fours and 2 sixes.
When the centurion got run out, David Miller (18) was dismissed too and that left Proteas in trouble. JP Duminy and Chris Morris made a 45-run partnership. Morris scored 20 off 19 balls.
In the end, Duminy’s cameo 20-ball 38* including 5 fours and a six helped South Africa post 299/6 in 50 overs, just a run shy of 300. Pradeep was Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler with two wickets for 54 runs.
Sri Lanka need 300 runs to win and upset Proteas.
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-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com