CRICKET NEWS - Quinton de Kock equalled Jonty Rhodes's record of five consecutive ODI half-centuries and Faf du Plessis contributed 43 as the Proteas completed a routine six-wicket victory in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka at St George's Park on Wednesday to take a 4-0 series lead with the final game in Cape Town on Saturday.
Anrich Nortje led an accomplished bowling performance to help dismiss Sri Lanka for a below-par 189 on a blameless batting pitch and the home side reached 190 for four with De Kock (51 from 57 balls) doing most to complete victory with 17.1 overs to spare.
All six bowlers used claimed a wicket and there was a miserably embarrassing run out at the end of the innings to complete a dreadful day for the tourists who have been heavily beaten in all four matches.
Nortje, 25, was simply too fast for the Sri Lankans and claimed 3-19 in his first, six-over spell before No 9 Isuru Udana smashed him for three consecutive sixes in his seventh to register his maiden ODI 50 and another one in his eighth to add a respectability to the total which had seemed highly unlikely when they crashed to 97 for seven at the halfway stage of the innings.
Left-arm fast bowler Udana was comfortably the top scorer with 78 from just 57 balls, including seven fours and four sixes. Nortje conceded 38 runs from his final two overs to finish with 8-0-57-3.
Udana was named man-of-the-match despite being on the losing side.
"I have been working on my batting," he said. "Once we were nine down I had to take my chance."
Dale Steyn began the rot when veteran opener Upul Tharanga (4) set the tone for a feeble batting effort with a tame chip to mid-on and Oshada Fernando's ill-disciplined slash to Reeza Hendricks was the first of many poor shots to follow.