De Kock steers South Africa to 2-0 lead in Sri Lanka

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De Kock steers South Africa to 2-0 lead in Sri Lanka

Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock hit an attacking 87 to guide South Africa to a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international in Dambulla on Wednesday.

Chasing 245 for victory, the visitors rode on a 91-run opening partnership between de Kock and Hashim Amla, who scored 43, to achieve their target with more than seven overs to spare.

South Africa take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Skipper Faf du Plessis contributed with a valuable 49 after Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya led the bowling charge to give the visitors some tough moments in their chase.

The Proteas bowlers also played their part earlier as pacemen Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo claimed three wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 244-8 in 50 overs.

Skipper Angelo Mathews made 79 off 111 balls while Niroshan Dickwella scored 69 to give the Sri Lankan total some respectability after they elected to bat first.

South Africa responded with a big first-wicket partnership as de Kock hit bowlers to all parts of the ground during his 78-ball knock, laced with 13 fours and 1 six.

Dananjaya took two wickets after South Africa’s quick start but the rest of the bowling and some sloppy fielding let the home team down.

Dananjaya had Amla caught and bowled and then snapped up Aiden Markram for three. He later denied du Plessis his half-century with another caught and bowled effort.

De Kock, who made 47 in his team’s first win on Sunday, registered his 16th ODI fifty but missed out on a ton after becoming debutant paceman Kasun Rajitha’s first ODI victim.

Suranga Lakmal gave Sri Lanka hope of a turnaround after getting his 100th ODI wicket in David Miller, out for three, as South Africa wobbled at 198-5.

But Jean-Paul Duminy hit 32 and Willem Mulder kept calm with his unbeaten 19 to give their team a second straight win, after having been swept aside in the two-match Test series.

Earlier for Sri Lanka, Mathews and Dickwella showed grit in front of a persistent bowling attack that took regular wickets.

Ngidi struck twice in his very first over — the second of the innings — to reduce Sri Lanka to 13-2. He had Upul Tharanga caught behind for nine and then trapped Kusal Mendis lbw for nought.

Dickwella, Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper-batsman, then got going with several valuable partnerships including a crucial 67-run fourth wicket stand with Mathews.

The third match is scheduled for Sunday in Kandy.

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