De Kock century as South Africa wins series vs. Sri Lanka

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Quinton de Kock’s blistering 121 from 108 balls set up South Africa’s series-clinching 71-run victory in a rain-affected third One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka on Sunday (10).

De Kock’s century propelled South Africa to 331-5 in 50 overs after being made to bat first. Sri Lanka was 75-2 after 16 overs when the rain came at Kingsmead in Durban.

Chasing a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 193 to win in 24 overs after a long rain delay, the tourists finished 121-5 and well short.

South Africa’s victory gave it an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series and helped restore some pride after Sri Lanka pulled off a major surprise earlier in the tour to sweep the test series 2-0.

De Kock was in red-hot ODI form with scores of 83, 81 and 94 in his last three innings before Sunday. He finally got the century he missed out on in those efforts to anchor South Africa’s big score. The opener hit 16 fours and two sixes and finally fell in the 30th over to an outside edge off Kasun Rajitha.

Rassie van der Dussen added a far more conservative 50 off 67 balls and David Miller (41 Not out), Dwaine Pretorius (31) and Andile Phehlukwayo (38 Not out) did some late damage. Phehlukwayo was especially destructive with five fours and a six at the end of the South African innings to collect his 38 runs off just 15 balls.

Seeking a way back into the series, Sri Lanka gave Kamindu Mendis his ODI debut and he showed off his highly unusual talent. Mendis is ambidextrous and bowls spin with both his left and right arms, switching between the two regularly during an over.

He picked up 1-45 in his first ODI, getting van der Dussen out lbw with a left-arm delivery.

South Africa fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi struck early to remove the openers and Sri Lanka lost Oshada Fernando for 25 straight after returning from the rain delay.

Kusal Mendis hammered 41 off 31 but Sri Lanka was still well behind. Mendis was caught and bowled by legspinner Imran Tahir, who took two wickets in two overs.

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