South African win Sri Lanka by 121 runs
Sri Lanka goes 2-0 down in five-match ODI series after folding for 186 in response to the home side’s 307/6
Centuries from Faf du Plessis and David Miller set up South Africa’s comprehensive 121-run victory in the second of five One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka in Durban on Wednesday (Feb 1).
On a good batting track, South Africa was put in and it didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, posting a formidable 307 for 6. Du Plessis made 105 off 120 balls, while Miller finished the innings with a burst of power-hitting to make 117 not out off 98 deliveries.
There were two drops off Wayne Parnell, but third time proved to be lucky as du Plessis made a stunning, one-handed running catch to dismiss Dickwella for 25. Just as bad fielding can prove contagious, so too can brilliant fielding. AB de Villiers was the star this time as he held on to one behind his shoulder while running back to send back Tharanga for 26 and give Parnell a second scalp.
Kusal Mendis then departed to leave Sri Lanka at 74 for 3 in the 14th, closely mirroring South Africa, which had been reduced to 71 for 3 in the 13th over of its innings. But where it deviated from the script was that Sri Lanka had no batsman who would go on to make a big score.
Sri Lanka added 54 more runs, with the help of some devil-may-care strokeplay from the tailenders, before it was bowled out for 186 in 37.5 overs, Tahir snapping up the last wicket to finish with 2 for 26 in 8.5 overs while Duminy also picked up two wickets.
Miller finished the innings strongly, reaching his century in the final over and celebrating with two sixes and a four off Nuwan Kulasekera. He hit six sixes and three fours in his innings.
Du Plessis reached his fifty off 53 balls with five fours and a six but added only two more boundaries and took another 60 deliveries before posting his seventh ODI century.
After Kulasekera and Suranga Lakmal sent down four overs each with the new ball, Sri Lanka opted for spin and the slow medium pace of Asela Gunaratne for most of the rest of the innings, giving the batsmen virtually no pace to work with and making it difficult to hit boundaries.
The big-hitting Miller was relatively subdued but hit a straight six off Sachith Pathirana before going to his half-century, off 54 balls, with two successive sixes off Dhananjaya.
The win gave South Africa a 2-0 lead in the five-match series with the next clash in Johannesburg on Saturday.
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