Quinton de Kock made another half-century as South Africa cruised to comfortable six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
The Proteas wicketkeeper came into the match having posted scores 81, 94 and 121 in the three previous games between the sides.
And on Wednesday, De Kock helped himself to the Lankan attack once more in making 51 as South Africa sped to their modest target of 190 with all of 103 balls to spare.
There was a soft ending to the lefthander’s innings as he popped a Dhananjaya de Silva delivery into the hands of Upul Tharanga at mid-on.
But he will have been satisfied with his day’s work that included six fours off 57 balls.
Not necessarily so for Aiden Markram, who is pushing for World Cup squad inclusion on the back of some good domestic form. Markram, batting at number three, got off to a good start in reaching 29 but then succumbed tamely via a leading edge off seamer Kasun Rajitha.
He will be hoping for one more chance to state his case in the final match at Newlands on Saturday.
Captain Faf du Plessis also continued his good run with a quick-fire, easy-on-the-eye 43 while David Miller (25 not out) and JP Duminy (31 not out) appeared to relish a chance to finish the game off.
The result saw South Africa go 4-0 up in the five-match series with that one game to come in Cape Town and Du Plessis’ side will no doubt be looking to drive the nail in even further by claiming a whitewash.
Earlier, tailender Isuru Udana clubbed a half-century to help save Sri Lanka blushes in reaching 189.
Batting at number nine in the order, Udana smashed 78 off only 57 balls to rescue the visitors’ innings from 131 for nine.
He hit seven fours and four sixes and shared a Sri Lanka record 58-run stand for the last wicket with Kasun Rajitha, who finished on nought not out.
And that is the one issue that may worry the South Africans — that they were unable to knock over the last wicket timeously.
Proteas speedster Anrich Nortje, who came in for some stick at the end of the innings, was the most successful of the bowlers taking three wickets.
Sri Lanka were cavalier in their approach losing regular wickets throughout the early part of their innings.
Warriors fast man Nortje took three of the first six wickets to fall to return the best ODI figures of his short career. He finished with three for 57 in eight overs, an analysis spoiled by him going for 23 runs in his seventh over.
Udana got stuck into him striking the first three balls of that over for sixes.
Dale Steyn made a return to the team and made the initial breakthrough removing Upul Tharanga for just four after the opener skied a catch to Tabraiz Shamsi at mid-on.
Eventually, Sri Lanka were reeling at 71 for six and Dhananjaya de Silva (22) and Thisara Perera attempted to resurrect the innings. They could only do so for 28 runs before Perera presented Tabraiz Shamsi with a simple caught and bowled opportunity which the unorthodox leftarm spinner gladly accepted.
Andile Phehlukwayo picked up two wickets including that of entertainer Udana, who was the last man out.