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‘Four’ the boys

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It was only tail-ender Isuru Udana who hit a rapid half-century that lifted what was otherwise a poor Sri Lankan batting performance

DESTROYER-IN-CHIEF: Proteas players gather around teammate Anrich Nortjé after dismissing Sri Lankas Kamindu Mendis during yesterdays fourth Momentum ODI in Port Elizabeth. Nortjé was devastating yesterday, ending with figures of 57/3. Picture: Deryck Foster / BackpagePix

South Africa stormed to a 4-0 lead in the Momentum ODI series against Sri Lanka when they cruised to 190/4 to beat the visitors by six wickets in Port Elizabeth last night.

It was pretty much one-way traffic for the duration of the match with the South African bowlers effortlessly blowing away the visitors’ top order. The hosts finished the match with 17.1 overs to spare, with Quinton de Kock (51) and Faf du Plessis (43) providing the bulk of the hosts’ runs.

It was only tail-ender Isuru Udana who hit a rapid half-century that lifted what was otherwise a poor Sri Lankan batting performance.

Batting at number nine, Udana hit 78 in a Sri Lankan total of 189.

Sri Lanka, trailing 3-0 in the five-match series, faced humiliation when Udana walked in with his team reeling at 97/7, after being sent in on what looked like a good batting pitch.

But Udana, who has hit two centuries in first-class cricket, struck the ball cleanly in a 57-ball innings which included seven fours and four sixes. He was particularly severe on fast bowler Anrich Nortjé, one of the main destroyers in the early part of the innings. Nortjé took 3/19 in six overs in his first spell, but the first three balls of his second spell were all hit for six by Udana, who plundered 37 runs off Nortjé’s last two overs.

The last-wicket stand for Sri Lanka yielded 58 runs, 55 of them coming from the bat of Udana, and there were three extras last man Kasun Rajitha didn’t bother the scorers.