Chittagong - Sri Lanka produced a superb death bowling performance to beat the Blue
Label Telecoms Proteas by five runs in the opening match in Pool A at
the ICC World Twenty20 in Chittagong on Saturday.
AS IT HAPPENED: Proteas v Sri Lanka
There were two key moments – the first when Albie Morkel, having hit successive sixes, failed to put away a low full toss from Ajantha Mendis to be caught on the boundary in the 17th over. At that stage the Proteas needed 33 runs with six wickets in hand.
The Proteas went into the last three overs needing 29 runs and they stayed on target when David Miller and Farhaan Behardien took 10 runs off Lasith Malinga to reduce the target to a manageable 19 in two overs.
Nuwan Kulasekara then produced the second key moment when he conceded only four runs in the 19th over and took the wicket of Behardien.
It left the experienced Malinga to defend 15 in the last over with Miller having to retain the strike for the Proteas to have a chance of winning. Both Dale Steyn and Miller were run out as the Sri Lankans held their nerve as the target proved to be beyond the tail.
Sri Lankan opening batsman, Kusal Perera, was named man of the match for his quick-fire innings of 61 off 40 balls (6 fours and 3 sixes) that enabled his side to reach 51/2 in the six power play overs. This was slightly better than the Proteas’ 40/1.
In the end the Proteas did well to fight back from Sri Lanka’s start to restrict them to 165/7 thanks largely to Imran Tahir, who continued his love affair with the sub-continent to take 3/26 in his four overs.
Steyn recovered from his hamstring injury to take his place but Faf du Plessis did not with AB de Villiers taking over the captaincy.
Sri Lanka Innings: 165-7 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 61, Angelo Mathews 43; Imran Tahir 3-26, Morne Morke 2-31, Dale Steyn 2-37)
South Africa Innings: 160-8 in 20 overs (JP Duminy 39, Quinton de Kock 25, AB de Villiers 24; Sachitra Senanayake 2-22, Angelo Mathews 1-21)
1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 AB de Villiers (captain), 4 JP Duminy, 5 Farhaan Behardien 6 David Miller, 7 Albie Morkel, 8 Dale Steyn 9 Morné Morkel, 10 Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 11 Imran Tahir
1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Dinesh Chandimal (captain), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachitra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Ajantha Mendis