It took until the final game of the home international season for the Proteas to finally see the batting ability of Dwaine Pretorius, but as they say: better late than never.
The Highveld Lions all-rounder took full advantage of being promoted to No 3 in the third T20 against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers on Sunday, smashing an unbeaten 77 off just 42 deliveries and playing a major role in the victory by 45 runs on the DLS-mehtod.
As a result, the hosts secured a 3-0 series whitewash.
There had been quite a few occasions in this campaign where Pretorius had bowled steadily to show he could easily bowl a full quota of overs at the World Cup.
Yet national coach Ottis Gibson and regular skipper Faf du Plessis have stated previously that they want a batting all-rounder at the showpiece tournament in England.
Seven fours and three crunching leg-side sixes later, the 29-year-old looks set to have secured himself a ticket.
He had come in with South Africa in a bit of difficulty after a slow start, but was dynamic from the start and shared a fine 90-run second-wicket stand with Reeza Hendricks, who gradually accelerated to reach 66 off 51.
JP Duminy applied a nice finishing touch to the Proteas’ effort of 198/2 with a crunching, unbeaten 34 off just 14.
Pretorius’ good day continued as he took a wicket with the first ball of his only over, but it was Andile Phehlukwayo that rammed home the advantage.
The canny seamer took 4/24 as Sri Lanka’s batting order once again failed to fire.
He also took the key wicket of Isuru Udana, South Africa’s sole torturer with the bat, too after a rain break reduced the islanders’ chase to 17 overs.