The Proteas are hoping that rain stays away in their fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday at 11am.
Having lost the fourth ODI by three runs after the Duckworth/Lewis system was implemented in a rain-interrupted match on Wednesday, there is also rain predicted for Sunday’s encounter.
Stand-in captain Quinton de Kock doesn’t hope so and says: “It’s always going to be frustrating for both teams and the fans. Everyone wants a nice, clean game with excitement.”
Chasing 191 in 21 overs for the win in Kandy, after Sri Lanka scored 306/7 in 39, SA could only get to 187/9.
But it was the lack of leadership – with regular skipper Faf du Plessis out injured – that saw SA ultimately go down as they looked set for the win with Hashim Amla’s knock of 40, while JP Duminy ran himself out for 38 runs.
De Kock was bowled with a full toss for 23. With seven balls left, South Africa needed eight runs to win the match.
On strike on the last ball of the penultimate over was Keshav Maharaj, who had the big-hitting David Miller at the other end.
Maharaj went in search of a boundary which would have left Miller on strike to face the final over, but his wild attempt missed the ball and Thisara Perera clean bowled him.
This is where SA should have remained calm, but when Miller failed to score off the first ball of the final over, he felt the pressure.
And a Suranga Lakmal slower ball then saw his bails knocked off as well, to end any realistic chance SA had of winning the game.
De Kock, though, credits the hosts’ bowlers for getting the better of them.
He says: “Sri Lanka bowled really well, they kept getting wickets at the right time. They were just better than us in the second part of the game.”
With Junior Dala, who was unbeaten on three at the end, making his debut and youngsters such as Wiaan Mulder and Reeza Hendricks in the team, De Kock is convinced they would have learnt from this game.
He concludes: “It’s great for new guys to be part of a game like that, it’s great to have youngsters part of international stage and go through pressure like this.”