Pretorius, Phehlukwayo steer SA to T20 series whitewash against Sri Lanka
SA completed a 3-0 T20 series whitewash over Sri Lanka with a 45 runs D/L method victory at the Wanderers on Sunday where a few questions were answered regarding the make-up of the ICC World Cup squad.
Proteas have two World Cup warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and the West Indies when they arrive in England before they open the tournament with a clash against the hosts at the Oval at the end of May.
JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks and Andile Phehlukwayo are almost certainties for the tournament, but question marks remain regarding Aiden Markram, Chris Morris and long time batting mainstay Hashim Amla.
In their three matches of this T20 series, Duminy scored 76 runs and Hendricks has 139 to his name with Phehlukwayo only four in two innings but he impressed with the ball as he ended this series as the leading wicket taker with seven scalps.
The issue that is going to provide a headache for the selectors is of Amla who did not play in this limited overs series where SA whitewashed the Sri Lankans in both the ODIs and the T20s due to family reasons.
Sinethemba Qeshile, who kept wicket in the last two matches but did not get to bat, remains an outsider largely because selectors are leaning towards the unorthodox option of using batsman David Miller as wicketkeeper backup for Quinton de Kock.
On Sunday, the Proteas bowled out Sri Lanka for 137 after they initially set them a target of 199 in 20 overs but the match reduced to 17 overs and the target was revised to 183 due to rain interruption.
This win was secured largely due to the imperious batting efforts of Reeza Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius who scored breathtaking half centuries as they took apart the Sri Lankan bowlers who looked to have been on the plane back home to Colombo.
Pretorius was unbeaten on 77off 42, in a knock that included seven boundaries and three maximums, for his maiden half century while Hendricks scored 66 off 52 that included eight boundaries and two maximums for his fourth half century.
Markram once again failed to impress as he could manage 15 runs, to add to his poor three in the second match in Centurion, when he was caught at mid-on by Malinga from the bowling of Suranga Lakmal.
Duminy added an unbeaten 34 to the scoreboard to boost his case while with ball in hand Phehlukwayo returned with four wickets on the day and he was followed by Junior Dala and Lutho Sipamla with two each while Pretorius took one.
For Sri Lanka, Niroshan Dickwella was their top scorer with 38 of 22 and he was followed by Isuru Udana, who scored an unbeaten 84 on Friday, with 36 but their efforts were not enough as they fell short of the revised target.