Reeza, Rassie help Proteas to an unassailable 2-0 lead in T20 series

South Africa's Reeza Hendricks in action during the second Twenty20 international cricket match against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park stadium, on March 22, 2019 in Pretoria.
South Africa's Reeza Hendricks in action during the second Twenty20 international cricket match against Sri Lanka at SuperSport Park stadium, on March 22, 2019 in Pretoria.
Image: Christiaan Kotze / AFP

South Africa produced an all-round performance to beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their T20 series that concludes at the Bullring in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga won the toss and elected to field and South African batsmen reacted with a score of 180/3 with Reeza Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen sparkling with well-made half centuries.

The only Proteas batsman to fall cheaply was debutant Aiden Markram with a score of three after he was caught by Malinga from Isuru Idana but the other debutant Sinethemba Qeshile enjoyed his first outing with two catches behind the stumps.

After Markram’s dismissal, Hendricks and Van der Dussen went on a rebuilding mission and they put together a match-winning partnership of 116.

Their stand was finally broken when Hendricks (65) was caught by Kamindu Mendis at mid-off off the bowling of Malinga having scored his third T20 half century.

Hendricks was later joined in the pavilion by Van der Dussen (64) after his second half century when he missed the ball that went through the gate before crashing into his stumps off the bowling of Akila Dananjaya.

Senior batsmen JP Duminy (33), who also later accounted for a run out, and David Miller (9) remained at the crease until the end of their innings with an unbeaten partnership of 42 from 23 balls as the Proteas set Sri Lanka a target of 181 to tie the series with one match to spare.

With ball in hand, the Proteas did not have problems as they restricted Sri Lanka to 164/9 despite a well-struck 84 not out from Isuru Udana.

Premier fast bowler Dale Steyn began proceedings with two early wickets of Avishka Fernando (0) and Kusal Mendis for four in the first over.

It got worse for the Sri Lankans when Chris Morris claimed two wickets in three balls to remove Niroshan Dickewella for 20 and Kamindi Mendis for another golden duck on the night to leave the visitors on 31/4 after four overs.

Dwaine Pretorius joined the party with the wicket of Thisara Perera (22), who was caught by Qeshile and Angelo Perera (11), caught by JP Duminy off Tabraiz Shamsi.

In the closing stages, Dhananjaya de Silva (10) was run out by Duminy, Dhananjaya was bowled by Shamsi (1), Morris rearranged Malinga’s stumps for eight while Jeffrey Vandersay (0) and Udana (84) stayed unbeaten.

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