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De Kock´s purple patch continues as Proteas press for series sweep

13 March 2019 18:27

Quinton de Kock's fine run of form continued as South Africa comfortably defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets to move 4-0 ahead in their ODI series.

The wicketkeeper-batsman made 51 off 57 balls in a successful chase of 190 after the tourists were bundled out with more than 10 overs remaining in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

That half-century followed De Kock's previous scores of 121, 94 and 81 in the series, and the left-hander has now passed fifty in eight of his past nine knocks across all formats as the Proteas cruised home inside 33 overs.

South Africa would have been celebrating victory much earlier had it not been for Isuru Udana, who came in at number nine and lifted Sri Lanka from 97-7 by thumping seven fours and four sixes in a brutal 57-ball 78.

His effort put the top order to shame, the innings faltering badly at 51-4 when Anrich Nortje claimed two scalps in as many balls – including Priyamal Perera gloving down the leg side for a golden duck on his international debut.

Batsmen continued to come and go with regularity and the tourists' plight was summed up when captain Lasith Malinga lazily failed to ground his bat and was run out, before Udana let rip.

He launched Nortje for three successive sixes to begin the 36th over – the third soaring out of the ground to bring up his maiden international fifty – and the same bowler came in for more punishment in his next over as Udana thumped two fours and another maximum, which caused some damage to the LED scoreboard.

He eventually holed out as Andile Phehlukwayo ended the assault and Sri Lanka were made to rue Dhananjaya de Silva shelling a tough caught-and-bowled chance when De Kock had made just four.

Another drop did not prove costly as Reeza Hendricks could only muster eight before De Kock earned solid support in the shape of Aiden Markram (29) and Faf du Plessis (43).

None of that trio could see out the job but it mattered little as David Miller (25) and JP Duminy (31) ticked off the remaining runs.

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