Proteas claim 5-0 series whitewash despite floodlight failure
Aiden Markram scored a career-best half-century and shared successive partnerships of 70 with Faf du Plessis and an unbroken 57 with Rassie van der Dussen to lead the Proteas to a 41 runs victory on the DLS method in the final One-Day International at Newlands on Saturday.
The result gave the Proteas a 5-0 series victory following their 3-2 victory over Pakistan in their two home ODI Series that form an important part of their preparation for the ICC Men’s World Cup later this year.
The Proteas were always well ahead of the DRS calculation after Sri Lanka had set them no more than a modest target of 226 but it was nevertheless disappointing that the game had to go the DLS route on a perfect evening following the failure of one of the floodlight pylons that brought play to a premature conclusion. It denied Markram the opportunity to score a maiden ODI century.
When play was first suspended and later abandoned the Proteas had scored 135/2 and needed a further 91 for victory in the remaining 22 overs.
The match was very much a repeat of the earlier games in the series with Sri Lanka failing to bat out their 50 overs on every one of the four occasions that they have had a full quota of overs at their disposal.
They almost did it this time, falling a handful of balls short, as there were important stands of 62 for the fourth wicket between Kusal Mendis and Angelo Perera and 61 for the eighth between Priyamal Perera and Isuru Udana.
But once again their running between the wickets let them down as Mendis (56 off 84 balls, 3 fours) was run out in a dreadful mix-up at a critical stage. The elegant right-hander had been responsible for two of the three 50s the Sri Lankan batsmen managed in the series.
Kagiso Rabada topped the wicket taking chart (3/50) and nearly took a hat trick when the tail was exposed and there were two wickets each for the ever improving Anrich Nortje as well as Imran Tahir.
The latter was in scintillating form and was largely responsible for Sri Lanka scoring a disappointing 125/4 in the middle power play.
For once, Quinton de Kock failed at the top of the order but his opening partner, Markram, more than made up for it with his unbeaten 67 (75 balls, 7 fours) that was a one-run improvement on his previous career best of 66 against Bangladesh in East London a season ago.
Markram was named Man of the Match and De Kock Man of the Series.
- Cricket South Africa