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Faf du Plessis marathon takes South Africa close to 5-0 series whitewash

Faf du Plessis (left) almost recorded the highest individual score by a South African batsman in ODIs
Faf du Plessis (left) almost recorded the highest individual score by a South African batsman in ODIs

South Africa 367-5 (du Plessis 185) beat
Sri Lanka 327 (Tharanga 119) by 40 runs
Fourth One-Day International in Cape Town

Faf du Plessis registered his career best figures of 185 runs as South Africa sealed a 40-run victory while defending 368 runs in the fourth One-Day International in Cape Town to stretch their lead to 4-0 in the series.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. Lahiru Kumara (2-73) struck in the second over to remove Hashim Amla (1), who edged one to the second slip.

Quinton de Kock (55) smashed three boundaries in the fourth over to inject some momentum into the innings and along with du Plessis (185), the pair plundered nine fours and a six to take South Africa to 59 for one in the first powerplay.

The duo smashed 15 more runs in the 12th over and two overs later de Kock reached his ninth ODI fifty.

Just after bringing the 100-run stand with du Plessis, de Kock edged a Sachith Pathirana (2-55) delivery to the first slip. With a boundary in the 18th over, du Plessis brought his own fifty off 47 deliveries.

With AB de Villiers (64) supporting du Plessis, South Africa reached 153 for two at the halfway mark and also the 50-run stand between the two.

As South Africa went past the 200-run mark, de Villiers completed his own fifty and in the very next delivery du Plessis reached a fine century as the Proteas were set for a huge first innings total.

Even though, Sri Lanka managed to dismiss de Villiers and JP Duminy (20), du Plessis continued the onslaught and fell in the final over, 15 runs short of a deserving double century. He also missed out on the highest individual score set by a South African batsman in ODIs which was 188 by Gary Kirsten.

Farhaan Behardien (36 not out) provided proper support as South Africa amassed 367 for five in the 50 overs.

Upul Tharanga (118) and Niroshan Dickwella (58) provided perfect start for Sri Lanka with a 139-run opening stand that came in 97 deliveries.

Tharanga was the aggressive among the two as he reached his fifty off 25 deliveries and the pair brought the 100-run stand in just 10 overs.

Dickwella, who did not have much strike as compared to Tharanga, reached his half-century off 40 deliveries but soon fell to Dwaine Pretorius (2-55).

With two sixes in the 24th over, Tharanga brought a terrific century in just 73 deliveries.

Wayne Parnell (4-58) dented South Africa hopes when he removed both Tharanga and Kusal Mendis (29) in quick succession and from there on Sandun Weerakkody (58) and Asela Gunaratne (38) tried to wage a fight which was always going to be on the losing side with wickets falling at regular intervals.

Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 327 in 48.1 overs, falling short of the target by 41 runs. Du Plessis was awarded the man of the match as South Africa took a 4-0 lead in the series.

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