Faf du Plessis. REUTERS
Faf du Plessis. REUTERS

South African bowlers had their chance‚ but it was always going to take something special to outshine the swashbuckling centuries by batsmen Faf du Plessis and David Miller as Proteas crushed Sri Lanka by 121 runs in the second ODI in Durban on Wednesday night.

Sri Lanka won the toss and their captain Upul Tharanga elected to bowl first but the move backfired as Proteas took advantage of what looked like a good batting deck to set an imposing target of 308 which in the end proved too much for the visitors.

Proteas‚ who registered their eleventh ODI victory in a row at home‚ successfully restricted Sri Lanka to 186 after 37.5 overs with Du Plessis earning man-of-the match for his efforts.

Proteas now lead Sri Lanka 2-0 and they could wrap up this series at the eagerly anticipated Pink Day razzmatazz at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday with two matches to spare and set their minds on a possible whitewash.

Though South Africa’s batting innings started on shaky ground with openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock failing to stamp their authority on proceedings with low scores of 15 and 17 respectively‚ Faf du Plessis and David Miller arrived at the scene to repair the damage.

When Du Plessis arrived at the crease in the fourth over‚ South Africa were struggling on 19/1 but by the time he departed after he was caught by Kusal Mendis at long on from the bowling of Nuwan Kulasekara in the 43rd over he had scored 105 and the Proteas were on 225/5.

Playing in his 99th ODI‚ Du Plessis’ masterful 105 came from 120 balls and it included seven boundaries and one maximum for his seventh century in this format as he stood firm despite wickets tumbling on the other side.

He also sizzled on the field as he claimed two stupendous catches to delight the Durban crowd that dismissed Sri Lankan dangermen Niroshan Dickwella‚ Kusal Mendis and Kulasekara from the bowling of Wayne Parnell‚ Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada respectively.

The other major contributor for the Proteas with the bat was Miller whose typical bludgeoning unbeaten knock of 117 from 98 balls included boundaries and six big maximums as he helped the Proteas to cross the 300 mark.

With the ball‚ Parnell‚ Duminy and Tahir were the pick of the bowlers with two wickets each while Phehlukwayo‚ Morris and Rabada returned with one each.

 - TMG Digital

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