South Africa beats Sri Lanka to move top of ODI rankings
CENTURION, South Africa (AP) South Africa moved to the top of the one-day international rankings as it beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs at Centurion on Friday to seal a 5-0 series whitewash.
The victory was set up by openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock, who both hit centuries as South Africa amassed 384-6 after they were sent in on an excellent batting surface.
Sri Lanka never threatened to overhaul that total, but batted out its 50 overs for the first time in the series to finish on 296-8 thanks to Asela Gunaratne’s maiden ODI century.
Amla and De Kock shared an opening stand of 187, and in the process continued their extraordinary form at Centurion.
Amla’s 154 was his fourth consecutive hundred on the ground, while De Kock made it four centuries in his last five games at Centurion as he hit 109 from 87 balls.
De Kock also kept up his 100 percent conversion rate of fifties to hundreds at the venue, and became the fastest wicketkeeper-batsman to 3000 ODI runs, reaching the landmark in his 74th innings.
He was the first to bring up his hundred on Friday, doing so in 80 deliveries before falling to fast bowler Suranga Lakmal.
Amla anchored the innings perfectly, but also lashed out toward the close as South Africa added 110 runs in the final 10 overs.
He struck five sixes in his 134-ball knock, and was dismissed only in the penultimate over.
Sri Lanka’s reply was stunted by the loss of early wickets, as Chris Morris struck twice up front and Wayne Parnell backed him up with two more.
When Imran Tahir bowled Dhananjaya de Silva, the tourists slumped to 82 for five in the 14th over and were never likely to come back.
However Gunaratne steadied the innings and put on 93 for the sixth wicket with Sachith Pathirana (56), then added an unbroken 97 for the ninth wicket with Lakmal.
Gunaratne finished unbeaten on 114, while Morris recorded career-best figures of 4-31.