On the contrary, South Africa lost more than five wickets in the series on just one occasion. Here we take a look at some standout individual performances from the series.
Most runs in the series
Quinton de Kock led the run charts with a hundred and three fifties in five matches. The wicket-keeper and opener aggregated a whopping 353 runs in 5 matches at an average over 70 – and gave South Africa’s wobbling batting line-up a much needed boost ahead of the World Cup in England.
The skipper, Faf du Plessis, wasn’t too far behind and managed to make 272 runs at an average of 68. Rassie van der Dussen also grew his reputation with an average of 56 in four matches.
Sri Lanka had an unlikely hero in Isuru Udana, who registered a couple of outstanding cameos in the final two matches of the series.
Highest scores in the series
De Kock made as many as three scores of 80-plus while du Plessis was the only other centurion in the series. De Kock’s 121 at Durban came off 108 balls.
Each of his 80-plus scores came at a strike rate in excess of 110, a testimony of his shot-making prowess and ability to up the ante at the top of the order.
Udana’s unexpected half-century – a valiant 78 in a losing cause – came off 57 balls and included seven fours and a six. Markram made a statement in the final ODI, remaining unbeaten on 67 when the game was stopped due to bad light.
Having propelled himself into World Cup contention with some standout innings in the Momentum One Day Cup, Markram made a fine half-century to enhance his case.
Most wickets in the series
Imran Tahir led the wicket-takers’ list with 9 wickets in the series at a stunning average of 13. The leg-spinner gave runs away at a miserly rate of 3.44 and was the hosts’ trump card in his last ODI series in South Africa.
Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada picked 8 wickets in the series while giving runs at less than 5 an over. Sri Lanka’s only presence in the list is Dhananjaya de Silva, the part-timer who picked up five wickets in the series.
The fact that a part-timer was their most threatening and effective bowler kind of sums up the performance of the Sri Lankan team in this series.
Best bowling figures in the series
Five of the seven three-wicket hauls in the series were by South Africans with Rabada achieving the feat twice– at Centurion and Cape Town.
Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva took three wickets once each at Centurion and Port Elizabeth.
Nortje’s performance at Port Elizabeth perhaps attracted the most attention. The seamer, who earned a reputation in the Mzansi Super League, consistently hit the 145-plus kmph mark and impressed enough to be a potential member of the World Cup squad.
First Published: March 17, 2019, 1:48 PM IST