Former champions Sri Lanka are all but out of the ongoing World Cup after suffering a nine-wicket drubbing against a clinical South Africa, on Friday.
Toss: South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl
First innings: South Africa dished out a fine bowling effort to bowl out Sri Lanka for a modest 203. The Proteas picked up wickets at regular intervals after the first 10 overs with pacer Dwaine Pretarius (3/25) justifying his selection with a three-wicket haul. Chris Morris (3/46) and Kagiso Rabada (2/36) shared five wickets between them.
Sri Lanka had a horrible start and then recovered with Kusal Perera (30 off 34) and Avishka Fernando’s (30 off 29) counter-attacking approach. However, the duo perished in quick succession. Kusal Mendis (23 off 51), Dhananjaya de Silva (24) , Jeeva Mendis (18) and Thisara Perera (21) all got starts but threw away their wickets when Sri Lanka needed them to carry on.
Second innings: Chasing the modest target, South Africa lost Quinton de Kock (15) at the score of 31 in the fifth over but thereafter Hashim Amla and skipper Faf du Plessis held the fort and stitched an unbeaten 175-run stand to guide the Proteas home comfortably. While Du Plessis remained unbeaten on 96 off 103 balls, hitting 10 boundaries and one six, Amla finished on 80 not out off 105 balls with the help of five fours. Lasith Malinga (1/47) was the only successful bowler for Sri Lanka.
Gamechanger: Chasing a low target South Africa could have been in trouble after losing De Kock early but the 175-run unbeaten partnership between Du Plessis (96 not out off 103 balls) and Amla (80 not out off 105 balls) took the game away from Sri Lanka.
Dimuth Karunaratne | Losing skipper: I think all departments went wrong. In the batting, Kusal and Avishka batted really well, but we just weren’t able to rotate the strike and get singles. That is the key here and when you don’t get singles you only go for big shots. Unfortunately, we had only 200 on the board and the wicket was getting better and better after which they batted really well. I felt the wicket was a bit slow, they bowled really well and their fielders in the ring kept the pressure on. They planned really well.
Faf du Plessis | Winning skipper: Long time coming, yeah. It was a good game and we did ourselves justice in all three departments for the talent we have in the dressing room. We’ve been trying to get Pretorius in but the combinations were really tough, so today he came in place of Lungi and did a very, very good job. It feels bitter-sweet, it doesn’t feel like it means that much. It’s a little bit too late.
Scorecard: SL 203 (49.3 ovs) | RSA 206/1 (37.2 ovs)
(With PTI inputs)
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