Protea bowlers not a bee-side

CityPress - - Sport - SIMNIKIWE XABANISA at Wan­der­ers Sta­dium sports@city­

It took all man­ner of mile­stones for the Proteas to se­cure their sec­ond se­ries win over Sri Lanka this sum­mer, but if ever a re­sult was pre­dictable, it was that the vis­i­tors would fold once again.

Play­ing on Pink Day (the drive for breast can­cer) and on Faf du Plessis’s 100th one-day in­ter­na­tional (ODI), the hosts won a third suc­ces­sive game by seven wick­ets with 18 overs to spare to se­cure an in­sur­mount­able lead in the five-game se­ries against Gra­ham Ford’s men.

The win, South Africa’s 12th suc­ces­sive vic­tory at home, was a record in a match in which the vis­i­tors failed to reach 200 for the third time in a row. The game also marked a good re­turn for AB de Vil­liers in pink as he top-scored with 60 not out (61 balls, five fours) in South Africa’s chase of the Sri Lankans’ pal­try 163 all out.

Ear­lier, Sri Lanka – who have strug­gled to lo­cate their stom­ach for a fight with each pass­ing game on tour – had lost their last six wick­ets for just 46 runs after get­ting off to a slow but rock-steady start to the game’s first in­nings, hav­ing been asked to bat first.

The in­nings was steady in the sense that the wick­ets weren’t tum­bling with the alarm­ing reg­u­lar­ity (at first, any­way) as they had in the pre­vi­ous two ODIs, where they were dis­missed for 181 and 186. But, as it turned out, it was a false dawn as they were bowled out for even less.

Two things made it a marginally less than ig­no­min­ious ef­fort: opener Niroshan Dick­wella’s pa­tient and well-crafted in­nings of 74, and when play was de­layed for an hour be­cause a swarm of bees in­vaded the pitch.

Dick­wella’s ef­fort, which came from 80 balls and was dec­o­rated with seven bound­aries, showed his coun­try­men what could be done with a bit of pa­tience and ap­pli­ca­tion un­til he got out caught be­hind by Quin­ton de Kock swat­ting at a short one from Dwaine Pre­to­rius.

And had it not been for the one-hour de­lay, the day-night game may have run per­ilously close to fin­ish­ing while the light was still up.

For all that lack of ap­pli­ca­tion by the vis­i­tors, the hosts did what was ex­pected of them – put away what was put in front of them.

Led by Im­ran Tahir (who else?), who got the sparkling fig­ures of 2/21 off 9.2 overs, the bowl­ing was miserly. Pre­to­rius was an­other to have an im­pres­sive out­ing, snar­ing 3/19 off seven, with Kag­iso Rabada and Andile Phehluk­wayo chip­ping in with two wick­ets apiece.

While the catch­ing wasn’t as good as one has come to ex­pect, Du Plessis’s full-stretch ef­fort at slip to dis­miss Lahiru Madushanka off Pre­to­rius al­most made up for those ear­lier blem­ishes.

. Mean­while, Ti­tans chief ex­ec­u­tive Jac­ques Faul says the do­mes­tic fran­chises are still un­sure as to how Cricket SA’s (CSA) new T20 com­pe­ti­tion is go­ing to af­fect them.

CSA yesterday an­nounced the launch of a new hoped-for money-spin­ning com­pe­ti­tion called the #T20 Global League.

Said com­pe­ti­tion – sched­uled to com­mence in “the last quar­ter of 2017” and pen­cilled in for Novem­ber to De­cem­ber – will have eight par­tic­i­pat­ing fran­chises.

The gov­ern­ing body has al­ready sold the com­pe­ti­tion to a re­port­edly en­cour­ag­ing In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil and set a dead­line of March 3 for ten­ders. But Faul said the do­mes­tic fran­chises – although they know about it – weren’t en­tirely up to speed with how it would work or af­fect them.


PINK DRIVE Im­ran Tahir is con­grat­u­lated by cap­tain AB de Vil­liers after Tahir bowled out Sri Lanka's batsman Sa­chith Pathi­rana

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