South Africa go 4-zero up as de Kock, Nortje reign supreme

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Innings Sri Lanka 189 all out (Udana 78, Nortje 3-57, Phehlukwayo 2-21) v South Africa

Sri Lanka’s collapse began in the third over, and continued until the ninth wicket fell in the 34th over, before Isuru Udana’s 78 off 57 balls added a measure of respectability. Not enough respectability though, to make his team’s total an acceptable score. In a series that has been full of mediocre Sri Lanka batting performances, their 189 all out in 39.2 overs was the worst of the bunch.

About Africa
Africa is the world’s second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area. With
1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Africa’s average population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Algeria is Africa’s largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as later ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human), found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised almost all of Africa; most present states in Africa originated from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

South Africa go 4-0 up as de Kock, Nortje reign supreme

About Nortje

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje reaped the best figures for South Africa, taking 3 for 57 from his eight overs, largely prospering via the extra bounce he was able to generate. Andile Phehlukwayo was the bost disciplined on show, taking 2 for 21, while Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and even JP Duminy picked up a wicket apiece.

None of these bowlers were particularly menacing on a slow-ish, slightly two-paced Port Elizabeth pitch. But they were disciplined, and only had to await the opposition mistakes. Even during the last-wicket stand between Udana and Kasun Rajitha worth 58 (Rajitha’s contribution was 0), South Africa did not look especially perturbed. Udana struck the ball cleanly and intelligently, targeting the less-well protected parts of the ground, but eventually holed out to long off, to end Sri Lanka’s innings.

South Africa go 4-0 up as de Kock, Nortje reign supreme

Sri Lanka’s innings began poorly, with Upul Tharanga and Oshada Fernando losing their wickets to Steyn and Ngidi respectively nside the first four overs, before Kusal Mendis and Avishka Fernando attempted a recovery. The pair seemed to have te measure of the South Africa bowlers by the end of the Powerplay, but as has often been the case with this Sri Lanka team, the partnership was broken before it could truly mature – Avishka jabbing Nortje to short midwicket for 29, in the 11th over.

From there the wickets came frequently. Debutant Priyamal Perera was out first ball, gloving Nortje down the legside. Kamindu Mendis was also caught behind, nicking an attempted cut off Nortje. There was no significant partnership until the last-wicket stand. Kusal Mendis was out for 21 trying to pull Phehlukwayo. Thisara Perera chipped a Tabraiz Shamsi ball back Shamsi, who took a good catch diving forward. Captain Lasith Malinga’s dismissal, though, was perhaps the most reprehensible of all. Calling Udana through for a single towards midwicket, Malinga ambled the run, did not slide his bat, and was caught short by the direct hit by Reeza Hendricks. When he left, Sri Lanka were 131 for 9.

So far back were Sri Lanka by this stage, tha Udana’s heroics may not matter. But they were heroics nonetheless. He struck three sixes – in the arc between midwicket and long on – and multiple fours through cover and long off. At a time when South Africa were perhaps guilty of easing back on the intensity, Udana repeatedly found the boundary.

This was Udana’s best List A score, let alone his best in internationals. His hitting has given Sri Lanka a chance, but not much of one.