Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir star as South Africa thrash Sri Lanka

South Africa produced a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the opening game of the one-day series played in Johannesburg.

The home side did a fantastic job to dismiss Sri Lanka for 231 runs. In reply, Captain Faf du Plessis led from the front and notched up his magnificent century to help South Africa complete the chase in the 38th over of the innings.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir was a standout performer for South Africa. He picked up three wickets to bundle out Sri Lanka for 231 runs. The opening pair departed in the initial overs as Lungi Ngidi made early inroads with the new-ball. Kusal Perera and Oshada Fernando led a fightback of sorts and added 76 runs to rebuild the innings. Perera scored 33 runs with the help of four boundaries. Fernando scored a run-a ball 49 runs and was run out after a terrible mix-up with Kusal Mendis.

Mendis looked in good touch with the bat and scored 60 off 73 balls with the help of five boundaries. He added 94 runs with Dhananjaya de Silva to see Sri Lanka in a good position to post a decent score on the board. De Silva also chipped in with 39 off 52 balls with the help of three fours.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir came back into the attack for his second spell and dismissed Mendis and Dhananjaya to help South Africa take control of the game. The lower-order could only add 36 runs to see the visitors get bundled out for 231 runs in 47 overs.

For South Africa, Lungi Ngidi also picked up three wickets on his comeback game for South Africa. The bowler certainly looked rusty after returning from injury.

The bowlers produced a comfortable win for South Africa against Sri Lanka in the ODI series opener played at Johannesburg.

In the chase, Reeza Hendricks perished for a low score as left-arm pacer Vishwa Fernando provided early breakthrough for Sri Lanka. Quinton de Kock continued his good form from the Test series and produced a flurry of boundaries to help South Africa get off to a decent start. He was well supported by Faf du Plessis, who started cautiously and was dropped early in his innings.

De Kock put on 136 run partnership with Du Plessis to see South Africa in a commanding position to win the game. Akila Dhananjaya dismissed de Kock to see South Africa lose their second wicket with 150 runs on the board. De Kock scored 81 off 72 balls with help of eleven boundaries.

Du Plessis went on to notch up his 11th ton in limited-overs cricket and remained unbeaten till the end to see South Africa notch up a comfortable win. He scored 112 runs off 114 balls with the help of fifteen fours and a six.  Rassie van der Dussen proved to be ideal partner at the other end, who scored unbeaten 32 off 43 balls with the help of two boundaries.

Skipper Faf du Plessis was named player of the match for his brilliant century against Sri Lanka. The second game of the one-day series will be played on Wednesday in Centurion.

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