Half-centuries from Hashim Amla and JP Duminy led South Africa to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international at Buffalo Park on Saturday.
Despite three wickets by Dhammika Prasad and an unbeaten 92 from Dinesh Chandimal, the Proteas never looked in danger of losing a somewhat dull affair.
Set a target of 237, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla put on 76 runs for the first wicket before Smith (28) gifted his wicket to the opposition with a top-edge to the leg-side.
Amla, meanwhile, batted splendidly for his 55 until Prasad splayed his stumps.
Keeping a left-hand/right-hand combination, Duminy (left-hand bat) moved up in the batting order and, together with Jacques Kallis, steadied the chase, adding 58 runs together.
Duminy stroked an unbeaten 66, remarkably without scoring a four, and hitting only one six.
“I prefer a bit of time when I walk out to the middle so it was nice to be given that opportunity,” said Duminy, who usually bats further down the order, often in situations of more pressure.
“Gary [Kirsten] pointed out before the series started that we would mix it up between myself, AB [de Villiers] and Faf [du Plessis] so it was my turn today to get the opportunity.
“And whoever gets the opportunity has to grab it with both hands.”
Duminy was named man of the match for his performance with the bat as well as his six tidy overs where he conceded 26 runs.
Sri Lankan heads seemed to drop when the game was no longer within their grasp.
“My job was to build partnerships and to get the score as close as possible to our target,” he said.
“So we did that and I wasn’t too focussed on what the Sri Lankans were doing.”
Kallis (37) became Prasad’s third victim when he was looking to go over extra cover but ended up slicing it to the sweeper on the boundary.
Just before De Villiers (17) was run out, one of the lighting pylons caught on fire and South Africa were forced to bat on in poor light.
Lasith Malinga, who caught and bowled Du Plessis (18), missed an opportunity when he dropped Albie Morkel off his next ball and thus ended any further doubts about the result.
Earlier, Sri Lanka rallied to score 236 for six after another disastrous start to their innings.
Tillakaratne Dilshan was run out for a duck in the second over and again the senior batsmen in the said failed to set the stage alight.
Kumar Sangakkara (3) got a thin edge to be caught behind while Mahela Jayawardene (19) lost his wicket to a superb catch by Dale Steyn at short fine leg.
It was left to Upal Tharanga (66) and Chandimal, who shared a 72-run stand with Angelo Mathews (28) to steer Sri Lanka to a respectable total.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (2-43) and Morne Morkel (2-39) were the pick of the bowlers. — Sapa