Some tidy bowling by Imran Tahir, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius helped South Africa take an unassailable 3-0 lead against Sri Lanka in the five-match ODI series at Johannesburg. Opting to field first in the Pink ODI, much to the disappointment of the fans, South Africa failed to produce an early breakthrough as Tharanga and Dickwella put on a 60 run stand.
One brought many and Sri Lanka found themselves in familiar territory as Tahir and the all-rounders broke the back of their middle order in between a bee invasion in the stadium. They were eventually bowled out for 163 in the 40th over. The hosts completed formalities with ease as De Villiers registered another unbeaten half-century in pink to guide the Proteas home.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 163/10 in 39.2 overs( Dickwella 74, Pretorius 3/19) lost to South Africa 164/3 in 32 overs (de Villiers 60)
Take a glance at the talking points from the 3rd ODI at Johannesburg.
#5 Bees halt play
In the 25th over of the Sri Lankan innings, a swarm of bees swooped into the Bullring to halt play. The players threw themselves to the ground as is the practise in such situations but play soon resumed.
However, the bees returned pretty soon and this time the game took an hour to resume. They made de Kock's helmet their new found home. The head groundsman tried to swat them with a stick which didn't work out and then a fire extinguisher came to the rescue.
Finally, a bee keeper came to the rescue of fans awaiting action and play resumed soon after. Bees halting play has happened previously as well in cricket with images from the Australia-India Test in Delhi in 2008 making rounds.
#4 Dwaine Pretorius makes the perfect step up
A year ago South Africa were scanning their domestic circuit for anyone who could hold a bat and a ball as well. Now, they have four in the same 15 man squad and the left out man in the first two games, Pretorius, was given a game ahead of Parnell.
Pretorius, famous for his tight bowling in domestic cricket, co-timed the trend with a tidy maiden first up. He followed up with one more maiden later in his spell but importantly took three crucial wickets.
Pretorius had the dangerous Dickwella, Lanka's top scorer caught behind, before taking two more of the tail enders to finish with career-best figures of 7-2-19-3. With the Champions Trophy approaching, Pretorius has sent a timely reminder to the selectors about his ability.
#3 Imran Tahir continues tormenting Sri Lanka
Asian countries are expected to be masters of spin bowling. They are born and brought up on rank turners and playing with wristy hands come naturally to them. But Sri Lanka seem to have no clue on facing Imran Tahir even after 5 matches against him in the past few weeks.
Tahir has been South Africa's trump card with the ball in limited overs format and Sri Lanka learned why. They have been bamboozled by the leggie who restricts the run flow and then opens up the tail with vital middle order wickets.
Tahir was at it again today as he contained the run flow brilliantly forcing the batsmen to try and attack the pacers from the other end. While Tahir did have two wickets to show for, much of his effectiveness was in plotting the downfall of batsmen by stopping the runs.
#2 Lahiru Madushanka enjoys decent debut
Medium pacer Lahiru Madushanka was handed an ODI cap, his first ever game for Sri Lanka here in Johannesburg. The debutant was the victim of another Du Plessis stunner and was dismissed for a duck.
But his debut got better as he produced a superb first over, giving away just one run and capturing the key wicket of Faf du Plessis. Madushanka barely bowled at speeds of 130-135kmph but found some useful outswing that led to the dismissal of du Plessis.
He even tied down Amla and De Villiers in a tight four-over opening spell with some consistent lines. The debutant went on to make another telling contribution by running out Amla with a powerful throw from the deep.
#1 There is no stopping De Villiers in pink
If bowlers thought AB de Villiers in green and gold is their biggest nightmare, they were possibly wrong. It is AB de Villiers in pink that is even more dangerous. The Proteas skipper has a mind blowing record in pink and the trend continued.
De Villiers has two hundreds in four games in the pink jersey, including the fastest 50 and 100 in ODI cricket. In the four matches in pink he had played this far, de Villiers has scored 390 runs at an average of 97.5. The skipper added a half-century to that tally in another top notch innings.
Although, very much slower than his blitzkrieg knocks in pink, this was another de Villiers special that proved that he is a different beast in the pink jersey. Fancy playing the Champions Trophy in pink, South Africa?