South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI: 5 Talking Points

South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI: 5 Talking Points

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers of the Proteas. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

With the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg well and truly painted pink, it was South Africa that came away with an impressive seven-wicket win on the day. While the Proteas put up yet another clinical performance, it was the batsmanship of Sri Lanka that let them down on the day as they simply could not provide the kind of effort they deserved in spite of the start they had on the day.

Moreover, it was the impressive batting of Niroshan Dickwella who scored more than half of the Sri Lankan runs on the day. Dwayne Pretorius, the debutant put in a fine bowling performance, something that brings him ever so closer to cementing his place in the side in the grand scheme of things at the very least. However, while there were indeed a plethora of talking points on the day, here are five of the most prominent of the same.

1. Sri Lankan openers begin brightly

Surprisingly, the Sri Lankan openers began the innings on a bright note. Especially, it was more impressive when one considered the fact that they were put into bat in the first innings. With the first choice openers unavailable for duty, stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella gave the visitors a more than decent start. While it was the southpaw Tharanga who was playing the wicket in a much more calculated fashion, it was his opening partner Dickwella who was the beneficiary of a half-century, something that has taken him quite some amount of time to pull off.

Niroshan Dickwella, in particular, has been in an amazing form of late with some decent batting skills and has deputised for the likes of Kusal Perera and Kaushal Silva. While his wicket keeping skills are something that he has been more than impressive in. DIckwella managed an impressive 74 as the opening partnership worth 60 runs.

2. The amazing Lankan collapse

While the opening duo ensured that the Lankans were indeed the beneficiary of an incredible opening partnership, it was quite clear that the manner in which the Lankans collapsed soon after was quite extraordinary, to say the least. Of course, this was not your regular Wanderers wicket in Johannesburg, but the fact is that if a batsman applies himself, he will be the beneficiary of an excellent inning. This ensured that most of the inexperienced batsmen fell to the South African pacers. JP Duminy, in fact, was the only bowler who did not pick a wicket on the day. Moreover, the batting was in such a poor condition as it was Dhananjaya de Silva and Sachith Pathirana who crossed into the double-figures mark apart from the Lankan openers. Needless to say, the Lankan batting capitulated for a paltry 163.

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3. Pretorius and Phehlukwayo come up trumps in terms of wickets

Making his debut was Dwayne Pretorius. The latter has been the beneficiary of some fine form in recent times with the bat and the ball given the fact that he has made his way into the side on the back of a few decent performances in domestic cricket. With the Proteas facing massive issues in the form of a few players signing Kolpak deals, it was clear that Pretorius would have to step-up sooner or later. Three wickets on the day, including the important one of Dickwella, ensured that Pretorius kept his place for the fourth ODI. In addition, it was newbie Andile Phehlukwayo who also chipped in with an impressive performance as the Lankans simply could not make much of the ordeal, to say the least.

4. Kumara picks up de Kock early

Lahiru Kumara was perhaps one of the most impressive ‘finds’ in the Test series, and it was clear that it would only be a matter of time, on the tour at least, before he got his claim to fame. This was also Kumara’s List A debut as well, and he did not cease to impress. He bowled with incredible vigour and pace and made the best of batsmen grovel to the swing and purchase he was getting from the surface. Despite the high over-rate, he went at, it was clear that the wicket, his first one of Quinton de Kock would be one that would certainly never be forgotten.

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5. South Africa coasts to victory

At the end, it was simply a case of the Proteas coasting to an impressive win in the grand scheme of things. AB de Villiers once again went about attaining legendary status with some impressive batting. South Africa now lead the series 3-0, meaning that they have an unassailable lead, something that now means that they can play for pride and try out a few more combinations before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy.