South Africa spoil Sri Lanka's party with clinical nine-wicket win
South African skipper Faf du Plessis, who had said that the losses were beginning to be borderline embarrassing, must be relieved after this inconsequential but much-required win for the team.
Sri Lanka 203-10 (49.3 Overs) [Avishka Fernando 30(29), Kusal Perera(wk) 30(34); Pretorius 3/25, Chris Morris 3/46]
South Africa 206-1 (37.2 Overs) [du Plessis(c) 96(103), Amla 80(105); Malinga 1/47, Dhananjaya de Silva 0/18]
Result- South Africa won by 9 wickets
All along, we have been waiting for the real Proteas to turn up but they have been able to come up with a fitting performance only after having been officially ruled out of the World Cup.
South Africa won the toss and invited Sri Lanka to bat first. Kagiso Rabada proved his captain right on the first ball of the inning as he dismissed opener Dimuth Karunaratne with a searing bumper. Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando then had a good little partnership but Fernando, who was going along at more than run a ball, lost his wicket on the last ball of the Powerplay.
Since then, all Sri Lankan batsmen got starts but such was the consistency of the South African pace attack that The Lions could not get anywhere and were skittled out for just over 200, failing to play their full quota of 50 overs.
When Lasith Malinga dismissed opener Quinton de Kock on the last ball of the fifth over, there must have been some hope for Sri Lanka, but the way Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis batted, they completely swept away any chances of a Sri Lankan win.
The senior pros played fluent knocks and stitched together a 175-run partnership to take the team home by nine wickets, which is the second-highest ever South African stand for the second wicket in World Cups.
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal
South Africa- Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Jean-Paul Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir
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