South Africa returned to form after having been eliminated from the World Cup as the Proteas crushed Sri Lanka with 9-wicket defeat.
Batting first, Sri Lanka batsmen struggled to score runs against menacing South African bowling. The south Asian side kept losing wickets at a regular interval with the highest scorer Avishka Fermando making only 30 runs.
For South Africa, Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius took three wickets each. Kagiso Rabada once again bowled brilliantly and finished his 10-over spell for 36-2. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 203 in 49.3 overs.
Though Sri Lanka has lost their first wicket when the team’s score was zero, the next two batsmen built the innings by maintaining six runs an over. But once Fernando fell for 30 to Pretorius, the Sri Lankan batsmen could not recover.
Chasing a modest target of 204, South African batsmen looked in control right from the word go even though they lost their first and only wicket in the fifth over of their innings. But by then they were maintaining a run rate of nearly eight runs per over.
Captain Faf du Plessis and magical Hashim Amla finished the run chase in style. Both du Plessis and Amla remained unbeaten at 96 and 80 respectively as the Proteas successfully completed the run chase with more than 12 overs to spare. Both Amam du Plessis added 175 runs for the third wicket.
Dwaine Pretorious, who took 3-25, was declared today’s Man Of The Match. He said, “I’m happy we got over the line and I could play a part in that. I’m glad I was ready to take my opportunity today and contribute to the team. Me and Faf spoke after the third over about hitting the top of off being the best way of going about it. I’m stoked we won today but disappointed it’s come late.”
Scores in brief:
Sri Lanka 204 (49.3 overs): K Perera 30, Avishka 30; Pretorius 3-25
South Africa 206-1 (37.2 overs): Amla 80*, Du Plessis 96*