Miller, Shamsi, Bavuma seal the deal for South Africa, move to third spot in points table.
South Africa 146 for 6 (Bavuma 46, Hasaranga 20/3) beat Sri Lanka 142 all-out (Nissanka 72, Pretorius 17/3, Shamsi 17/3) by four wickets
South Africa and Sri Lanka were at loggerheads at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the Super 12 round on Saturday afternoon. Proteas won the previous game against West Indies by eight wickets on the back of a quickfire fifty of Aiden Markram whereas Sri Lanka lost their previous game against Australia by seven wickets, due to the match-winning knock of 65 runs by David Warner.
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and opted to field.
Sri Lanka lost Kusal Perera early
Proteas skipper Bavuma continued the template of giving the new ball to a spinner in this T20 World Cup. Off-spinner Aiden Markram kept Sri Lankan openers quiet in the first two overs.
Proteas speedster Anrich Nortje sniffled out Kusal Perea when Perera went for a lofted shot. One down batter Charith Asalanka produced some attractive shots in the first few balls. However, he got run out while stealing a single from Kagiso Rabada at mid-wicket. This was the biggest blow for the islanders as Asalanka has been their premier batter in this T20 World Cup. He made 21 runs in just 14 balls with the help of two fours and one gigantic six.
The next batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa had a brain fade to give a straight catch back to the bowler which the latter didn’t miss. With wickets falling at the other end, opener Pathum Nissanka was glued to the pitch but he couldn’t raise the run rate for his side.
Pathum Nissanka helped Sri Lanka to 142
Avishka Fernando and Wanindu Hasaranga visited the pitch for a few minutes and went to the dug-out on measly scores. Shamsi bagged the wicket of these two batters. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka and Nissanka tried to make some quick runs, however, Pretorius took the wicket of Shanaka on 11.
Nissanka completed his fifty in 46 balls. After completing his fifty, he played some attacking strokes. Nissanka clubbed a maximum and two fours to Rabada in the 18th over. Pretorius struck again to send Chameeka Karunaratne and Nissanka to dug-out. Nissanka made 72 runs off 58 balls with the help of six boundaries and three sixes.
Proteas speedsters kept taking wickets and bundled out Sri Lanka on 142 on the last ball of the innings.
Early dismissals for Proteas
Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock opened the batting for Proteas. Sri Lanka speedster Dushmantha Chameera took the wickets of Quinton and Hendricks in the fourth over of the innings.
While applying pressure on Proteas, Sri Lanka players made many fielding errors which conceded some vital runs to the detriment of the Emerald Island’s side. Poor running between the wickets cost a run out to Proteas, as Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka shattered the stumps of Rassie van der Dussen when he tried to steal a single.
Final over burst from David Miller wins the game for Proteas
Proteas skipper Bavuma and Markram steadied the South African ship in the middle overs. Sri Lanka spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga dried the run flow for some overs. So, Markram tried to break the shackles and smashed a boundary to Hasaranga, however, the wily leg-spinner hit back by knocking down the stumps of Markram on 19.
Veteran batter David Miller then joined his captain Bavuma in the middle. Bavuma smoked an astronomical six to Chameera in the 17th over. However, the Protea skipper tried to clear the cow corner boundary on the first ball of the next over from Hasaranga but got caught by Pathum Nissanka. Hasaranga struck the very next ball as well by taking the wicket of Dwaine Pretorius on duck.
As 15 runs were required in the final over of the match, Miller clobbered two gigantic sixes to win the game for South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi received player of the match for his 3/17 off four overs.
South Africa are now in the third place in Group 1 and Bangladesh at Abu Dhabi on November 2. Sri Lanka, placed fourth, will face incumbent table-toppers England at Sharjah on November 1.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from the SAvSL game: