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After Pakistan win, Proteas' Gibson eyes series against Sri Lanka

After a convincing seven-wicket victory over Pakistan at Newlands which wrapped a 3-2 ODI series win, Proteas coach Ottis Gibson hopes to have close to his final squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

FILE: Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

CAPE TOWN – After a convincing seven-wicket victory over Pakistan at Newlands which wrapped a 3-2 ODI series win, Proteas coach Ottis Gibson hopes to have close to his final squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

After winning the toss and electing to field, the Proteas bowling unit restricted Pakistan to 240/8 in their 50 overs. It was an exceptional performance from an experimental bowling unit.

South Africa was in control almost from the get-go and reached their target of 241 with ease. Quinton de Kock was destructive, scoring 83 off 58 balls while Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen both finished on 50 not out as their 95-run partnership took South Africa home.

South Africa experimented with three allrounders in their ranks as Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius came into the side alongside the more experienced Andile Phehlukwayo for an audition for the much-debated all-rounder slot.

Gibson gave his impression of the match.

“It’s a sort of a pitch that we want to be playing one-day cricket on. Everybody bowled really well even though they were aggressive and did his job. De Kock batted with a lot of confidence and took the game away from them from the first 15 to 20 overs and the rest of it was Faf and Rassie so nicely done and that’s the way we wanted to play cricket.”

He explained the reasoning behind selecting the three all-rounders for the series decider.

“We wanted to see them. Today was sort of like a final so we thought let's try all three and see how they go and they all bowled well. We didn't get to see them bat but they all bowled well and contributed towards winning. have they answered any questions, maybe not...at least we got to see then bowl.”

He says there are players recovering from an injury that will impact World Cup selection.

“In the back of our minds we wanted to finish the game in 40 overs because we want to have that positive run of cricket and the pitch allowed us to do that; so, that was a good sign. Hopefully by Sri Lanka, as I said, everybody is fit and we’ll have a better idea of who we want to take forward.”

Gibson expects the likes of JP Duminy and Lungi Ngidi to be back for Sri Lanka.

“I was hoping that it will be finished by now. Mostly when people are injured it becomes difficult to balance the team and therefore, all the guys that are injured will be good to go for the Sri Lanka series and we can get somewhere close to the squad that we’ve in mind.”

Gibson says they want to see more of Wiaan Mulder with the bat.

“Everybody seems to think that he’s the best batter of all the allrounders, therefore, we wanted to have a look at him because, like I said before, we’ve been looking for a No.7 batsman who can bowl and he fits that criteria.

“We didn’t get enough time to see if he was injured. Hopefully, during the Sri Lanka series, we’ll try and give more opportunity.”

Gibson says its hard to leave out the talented Aiden Markram.

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