Markram’s ODI best sets up series clean sweep for S.Africa vs S.Lanka - GulfToday

Markram’s ODI best sets up series clean sweep for S.Africa vs S.Lanka

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South Africa’s Aiden Markram bats against Sri Lanka during their 5th ODI on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Cape Town: Aiden Markram hit an unbeaten 67 to put South Africa in a dominant position before floodlight failure ended the fifth and final one-day international against Sri Lanka at Newlands on Saturday.

South Africa won by 41 runs according to the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method when no further play was possible.  The hosts were on 135 for two after 28 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 225 all out.

The win clinched a 5-0 series clean sweep for South Africa, continuing a horror run for the tourists. It was their fourth whitewash defeat in a five-match series in less than two years.

Markram was the night’s big winner. Left out of South Africa’s one-day team for the first eight matches this year, he was recalled for the final two matches of the Sri Lanka series on the back of outstanding form in domestic games. Saturday’s innings seems certain to ensure that he is part of South Africa’s squad for the cricket World Cup later this year. He was named man of the match.

It was another poor performance by Sri Lanka despite a half-century by Kusal Mendis, who made 56, and an adventurous partnership of 61 off 53 balls between Priyamal Perera and Isuru Udana.

Sri Lanka fell three balls short of batting out a full 50 overs.  Mendis played a measured innings in making his second half-century of a series in which none of his fellow top-order batsmen reached the 50 mark. He was needlessly run out after a mix-up with Priyamal Perera in the 35th over. He faced 84 balls and hit three fours. Udana made a lively tail-end contribution, hitting 32 off 29 balls before he and Priyamal Perera fell off successive deliveries from Kagiso Rabada in the penultimate over. Rabada finished with three for 50.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, in his final one-day international in South Africa, took two for 33, while fast bowler Anrich Nortje took two for 35.

Markram survived two sharp chances, Udana lunging to his right but failing to hold a return catch when the batsman was on two, and on 13 when a diving Oshada Fernando could not hold a difficult chance in the covers off the same bowler.

But Markram batted with authority in sharing half-century stands with captain Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen before the umpires decided the light was not good enough for play to continue.

Agence France-Presse

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