South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2017, 2nd ODI - 5 Talking Points

South Africa v Sri Lanka - 2nd ODI : News Photo
Faf du Plessis led from the front

Faf du Plessis and David Miller made centuries as South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by 121 runs at Kingsmead in Durban to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

Opting to bowl on a pitch on the slower side, Sri Lanka started well by dismissing Amla, de Kock, de Villiers and Duminy in quick time. But du Plessis and Miller strung together a vital 117 run partnership and the latter added the finishing touches to the innings with some meaty blows in the company of Chris Morris, propelling Proteas to 307.

Wayne Parnell snared two wickets upfront and the rest of the bowlers chipped in with their share as well as Lanka performed poorly with the bat. They were bowled out for 186, managing to bat only for 38 overs.

Brief Scores: South Africa 307/6 in 50 overs (Miller 117, du Plessis 105) beat Sri Lanka 186/10 in 37.5 overs (Chandimal 36, Tahir 2/26)

Result: South Africa win by 121 runs

Take a look at the talking points from the second ODI at Durban.

#5 du Plessis smacks seventh ODI ton

Faf du Plessis is enjoying a terrific season of cricket for South Africa. The stylish No. 3 batsman followed up his half-century in the first ODI with his seventh ODI ton in the second match at Durban.

Hashim Amla had departed at the end of the 4th over when du Plessis joined de Kock. The Durban wicket was not at its flat best and the Lankans took full advantage, playing four slower bowlers capable of utilising the slowness in the wicket.

However, du Plessis enjoyed batting on the strip even as the likes of de Kock, de Villiers and Duminy departed early. He compiled a match-winning 117-run stand with fellow centurion, David Miller, to set up another win for the Proteas.

#4 Miller loves Kingsmead

South Africa v Sri Lanka - 2nd ODI : News Photo
Killer Miller was at his destructive best

David Miller has always relished time in the middle, despite his reputation as a finisher. The southpaw is a powerful slogger with the willow in hand, but is quite capable of playing the long innings as he exhibited today.

Walking in at the fall of Duminy's wicket in the 20th over, Miller put together a century stand with du Plessis. He showed his intent right at the start by lofting Pathirana over his head for a maximum.

There was no stopping the southpaw from there on as he smashed six maximums en route to another ton at Kingsmead, the ground where he hit a hundred to help Proteas chase down 371 against Australia a few months ago.

#3 Spinners fail to shine

CRICKET-RSA-SRI-T20 : News Photo
Sandakan provided a vital breakthrough but failed to control South Africa’s batsmen

The Durban pitch on offer was on the slower side, unlike the last time when Australia made 371, which was chased down by South Africa. But Sri Lanka seemed to be overly eager to exploit any slowness in the wicket as they went in with four spinners for the match.

Lakshan Sandakan, a chinaman, Dhananjaya de Silva, an off break bowler, Sachith Pathirana and Chaturanga de Silva, both slow left arm bowlers were the spinners in the Lankan line-up. Unfortunately, none of them could stop du Plessis and Miller and Lanka were left scratching their heads.

Sandakan provided a vital breakthrough by dismissing de Villiers but failed to bowl consistently threatening lines. Pathirana and the two de Silva's were mediocre at best and South African batsmen had no trouble negotiating them.

#2 South Africa amp up fielding effort

South Africa v Sri Lanka - 1st One Day International : News Photo
de Villiers put on a show in the field

Criticism levied against the Proteas in recent times in limited-overs cricket have revolved around dropped catches in the outfield. Even in the recently-concluded T20s, there were three dropped catches off successive balls.

However, the issue seems to have been addressed by the South Africans, who put up a spectacular fielding display at Durban. It was headed by none other than Faf du Plessis, who pulled off two magnificent catches standing at cover.

De Villiers displayed his fielding skills with a sensational running catch and Duminy, another terrific fielder, chipped in with a direct hit to catch Gunaratne short. With the Champions Trophy in sight, the Proteas coaching staff would be mighty pleased with this improved fielding effort.

#1 Sri Lankan batting fails to impress yet again

Mendis got a start but could not build on it

Sri Lanka have put together some poor performances with the bat in this tour of the Rainbow Nation. In the absence of Mathews, they have lacked a leader around which their batting could find their feet.

Chandimal, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva are their most dependable players in the middle order. Although two of them got starts, both failed to carry on with the bat, falling to ill-advised shots.

Sri Lanka also seemed to be a batsman short with a string of average all-rounders in Gunaratne, Chaturanga de Silva and Sachith Pathirana forming the lower middle order. They will have to find some serious runs from their batsmen going forward to avoid another loss, which would seal the fate of the series.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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