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South Africa claim number one ranking with 5-0 whitewash

Hashim Amla scored 154 off 134 deliveries in the Centurion ODI
Hashim Amla scored 154 off 134 deliveries in the Centurion ODI

South Africa 384-6 (Amla 154) beat
Sri Lanka 296-8 (Gunaratne 114no) by 88 runs
Fifth One-Day International in Centurion

After centuries from Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla powered South Africa to 384 for six in their innings, Chris Morris led the bowling department with a four-wicket haul as they restricted Sri Lanka to 296 in the chase despite an unbeaten century from Asela Gunaratne to seal a massive 88-run win and also a 5-0 series whitewash.

De Kock (109) and Amla (154) brought their 50-run opening stand in just 46 deliveries and with a combined 14 boundaries between them, South Africa ended the powerplay at 71 for naught.

With a boundary in the 12th over, de Kock reached his 10th ODI fifty, needing just 40 deliveries for the milestone. The onslaught from the duo continued as they smashed three more boundaries in the 14th over bowled by Sachith Pathirana (0-43).

Amla had a reprieve when Upul Tharanga dropped him in the slips in the 15th over following which he completed a 49-ball fifty and South Africa went well past the 100-run mark.

Runs were coming thick and fast as de Kock reached another century in Centurion with two boundaries in the 25th over at the end of which South Africa were 180 for naught. In the process, he also went past 3,000 ODI runs, the fastest wicket-keeper to do so.

Just when de Kock was looking ominous, he miscued a Suranga Lakmal (3-71) to sweeper cover, ending the 187-run opening stand By the 30 over mark, South Africa were 204 for one.

Faf du Plessis (41) upped the ante further by hitting a four and a six in the 33rd over from Lahiru Kumara (0-60), in which he was dropped by Pathirana as well. His 34-ball knock ended when he holed out to long-off to give Lahiru Madushanka (2-70) his first wicket.

AB de Villiers (14) had a rare failure but Amla reached his 24th ODI century and stepped up the scoring rate in the final 10 overs where he had the support of Farhaan Behardien (32). South Africa went on to post a massive 384 for six leaving Sri Lanka with a daunting chase.

Sri Lanka lost their skipper Tharanga (7) early in the chase but Niroshan Dickwella (39) looked extremely positive in his 19-ball knock which had five boundaries and two sixes.

Morris (4-31) got his second wicket when Kusal Mendis (1) chipped one to mid off while Wayne Parnell (2-51) struck twice to send Dickwella and Sandun Weerakkody (10) packing.

The wickets continued to tumble as Imran Tahir (1-57) castled Dhananjaya de Silva (11) leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 82 for five.

On a losing cause, Gunaratne (114 not out) and Pathirana (56) added some respectability to the total with their 93-run stand for the sixth wicket and they eventually ended the innings at 296 for eight.

Amla was awarded the player of the match while du Plessis bagged the player of the series award. The 5-0 series win has taken South Africa to the pole position in ICC rankings displacing Australia.

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