De Kock and spinners shine bright as Proteas thrash Sri Lanka to clinch T20 series

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Tabraiz Shamsi. (Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images)
Tabraiz Shamsi. (Photo by Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images)

The Proteas' preparation for next month's ICC World T20 received a major boost after they secured a series victory over Sri Lanka, strolling to a comprehensive win by nine wickets in Sunday's second encounter.

It means they have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series, which concludes on Tuesday.

South Africa righted a major wrong in this game, emphatically erasing some doubts over their ability (and willingness) to chase totals by producing a ruthless bowling performance after losing the toss and being asked to field first.

Aiden Markram proved the unexpected star with the ball, bagging impressive figures of 3/21 in his four-over quota, which even included a maiden.

SCORECARD | Proteas v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20

He notably took two crucial wickets, niftily snapping up a sharp caught-and-bowled opportunity offered by an aggressive Bhanuka Rajapaksa (20 off 13) before producing a good, flighted delivery to trap the dangerous Kusal Perera (30) in front.

Ably supporting him was the indomitable Tabraiz Shamsi, who once again reinforced his credentials as the leading bowler in world T20s with a fine spell of 3/20.

The left-arm wrist spinner's steely resolve was shown, immediately after home skipper Dasun Shanaka smoked him for a massive six, he had his revenge with a splendid turner that completely flummoxed his opponent.

Bjorn Fortuin, less flamboyant but a canny operator, did a fine job opening the bowling, conceding no boundaries and picking up two sticks for his efforts.

The only disappointment was Kagiso Rabada, who conceded 29 runs in two expensive overs.

The Proteas' pace kingpin hasn't been himself since spraining his ankle in the ODI series.

Faced with a target of just 104, South Africa's chase looked straightforward but it had its alarms too.

Quinton de Kock struggled with his timing on a slow surface before finding his range to show his class, compiling a solid, unbeaten 58 off 48 deliveries.

His inherent fluency meant that opening partner Reeza Hendricks' (18) stuttering support didn't put pressure on the batting effort.

Markram (21*) also survived two confident LBW appeals against him - one was given and then overturned on DRS - as well as an edge that went to the boundary before he got into his stride to hit the winning runs.

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