Sri Lanka overcame their first hurdle defeating South Africa by five runs in a trilling finish to a group one Super-10 encounter in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 on Saturday at at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, Chittagong. Sri Lanka batting first posted a challenging total of 7/165 riding on Kusal Perera‘s 61 off 40 balls while Angelo Mathews made 43 off 32 deliveries.

In an exciting finish South Africa had improbable task off scoring 15 runs off the last over but only achieved nine runs as the Proteas finished 160-8 in their 20 overs five runs short.

For the Proteas Jean-Paul Duminy was the top scorer with 39 runs, while Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers contributed 25 and 24 runs respectively.

For Sri Lanka off-spinner Sachitra Senanayake was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with figures of 2/22 in his four allotted overs.

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. For the Proteas, Pakistan born leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with figures of 3/26.

Sri Lanka got off to a flier courtesy Kusal Perera who smashed 17 runs in Dale Steyn’s first over of the match. Steyn, however, punched back with a wicket of Dilshan as he castled Sri Lankan veteran of his sixth delivery.

Mahela Jayawardene was the other wicket to fall in the power play (9) as Sri Lanka kept scoring quickly in the first six overs. Sangakkara (14) then steadied the ship along with Kusal Perera as the duo put on 41 runs for the third wicket before Sangakkara trying to slog lost his wicket to Imran Tahir. Tahir then went onto dismiss Kusal Perera and Dinesh Chandimal as South Africa managed to restrict Sri Lanka in the middle overs.       

Sri Lanka desperately needed some runs in last couple of overs and Angelo Mathews duly provided thos with some lusty blows before he fell in the final over to Dale Steyn, scoring 43 off just 32 balls.

For South Africa Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn were the other two bowlers to get on board picking up two wickets each.

At the toss it was bitter sweet news for the Proteas, as captain, Faf du Plessis, was ruled out of their first match, hence AB de Villiers has taken over the reins for the day. Dale Steyn, however, was considered fit and hence got his place in the Proteas XI.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka had no injury worries and had full 15 members to pick from the squad.

In this group, England  take on New Zealand later on Saturday, while the Netherlands are the third team in this group.

SOUTH AFRICA Playing XI: Q de Kock (wk), HM Amla, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers (capt), DA Miller, F Behardien, JA Morkel, DW Steyn, M Morkel, LL Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir

SRI LANKA Playing XI: MDKJ Perera, TM Dilshan, DPMD Jayawardene, KC Sangakkara (wk), LD Chandimal (capt), AD Mathews, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, SMSM Senanayake, BAW MendisSL Malinga

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 165 for 7 (Kusal 61, Tahir 3-26) beat South Africa 160 for 8 (Duminy 39, Senanayake 2-22) by five runs.

    Pretentious writer. Arsenal Lover. Cricket 'enthusiast'. Want to know more? See articles.

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