Quinton de Kock powers South Africa to 2-0 ODI series lead in Sri Lanka

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South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock hit 87 to help the Proteas clinch a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI in Dambulla on Wednesday.

The visitors, chasing 245 for victory, were helped by a 91-run opening partnership between de Kock and Hashim Amla, who hit 43. They reached the target with more than seven overs to spare and thus took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

Captain Faf du Plessis made a valuable 49 after Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya (3-60) raised the hosts’ hopes.

Earlier, Proteas pacers Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo picked up three wickets each to restrict Sri Lanka to 244-8 in 50 overs.

Skipper Angelo Mathews made 79 off 111 balls while Niroshan Dickwella made 69 to give the Sri Lankan total respectability after they elected to bat first.

“Excellent bowling performance, seemed like Sri Lanka would get 280-300 but we kept getting wickets,” Du Plessis said after the win.

“We kept pulling it back even with them having a set batsman. Plans were good and the execution was great,” he added.

“We give away too many wickets upfront and were always playing catch up since then. Never got going at all with the bat,” said skipper Mathews.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t hold onto the catches as well because you need to take those when you are defending such a score. The bowlers did fairly well but we didn’t field properly. Need to put it aside and move forward … There are some positives and we can still stay alive in the series if we win the next game.”

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Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann to return to international cricket as commentator

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Darren Lehmann will take up commentary duties during the Aussie summer.

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann is set to make his return to international cricket in a different avatar.

The 48-year-old was on Wednesday announced as an expert commentator for Macquarie Sports Radio.

Lehmann was one of the casualties of the ball-tampering saga that rocked Australian cricket earlier this year. The infamous incident which occurred in Cape Town during Australia’s tour of South Africa saw Steve Smith and David Warner being handed one-year bans from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia.

Chief protagonist Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension.

Following the aftermath of the scandal, Lehmann tendered in his resignation from the head coach’s role. He was subsequently replaced by his former Australia team-mate Justin Langer.

The former coach will now appear as an expert commentator on Macquarie Sports Radio’s Summer of Cricket show.

“I’m excited to be joining Macquarie Radio’s Summer of Cricket and can’t wait to get started,” Lehmann stated.

“It’s a great team and we’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s an opportunity for me to share an insight into how the Australian team runs and the intricacies of each player.

“I love the game I played and coached and want to see it continue to grow. I love the players; always have and always will. Go Aussies!”

Since resigning from his post with the Australian men’s team, Lehmann has been working with the country’s budding young cricketers at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. His tenure with Cricket Australia is slated to run until October this year.

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India's Harmanpreet Kaur leads Lancashire Thunder to thrilling win on Women's Super League debut

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Kaur struck a six off the penultimate delivery to snatch a win for her side.

India’s Harmanpreet Kaur made her Women’s Cricket Super League debut in style as she helped guide the Lancashire Thunder to a five-wicket win over the Surrey Stars on Tuesday.

The star Indian women’s all-rounder struck a penultimate ball six to help her side over the finish line in her very first match for Lancashire.

Kaur’s 21-ball 34 was the catalyst for Lancashire’s win after the Surrey Stars had set them a target of 149 runs. Surrey captain Natalie Sciver starred with the bat with her unbeaten knock of 95 (57) helping the side to a competitive total after others batters around her collapsed.

In reply, Lancashire were given an excellent start by Australia’s Nicole Bolton who top-scored with an innings of 87 (61). A late middle-order collapse saw the game slipping out of the grasp of Lancashire before Harmanpreet turned it around with her explosive cameo.

With four runs required for victory for Lancashire from the final two deliveries, Kaur struck Laura Marsh for a six to seal the win in some style.

Her unbeaten innings of 34 contained three boundaries along with the penultimate-ball six.

Kaur’s match-winning innings follows another strong showing by an Indian women’s team player. Days ago, Smriti Mandhana had registered the fastest half-century in women’s T20 cricket against the same opponents. Mandhana had struck a 19-ball 52 in a match reduced to a six-over per side clash.

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