Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Dwaine Pretorius took three wickets, captain Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten 96 and opener Hashim Amla made 80 not out as South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in Durham.
South Africa’s victory was nothing more than a consolation win, while Sri Lanka’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals were severely dented by this loss.
Opting to bowl first, South Africa got off to the best start possible as Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was caught by Du Plessis at second slip off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada on the first ball of the match.
Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera made up for the loss of Karunaratne with a 67-run partnership before Fernando was caught by Du Plessis at mid-off off the bowling of Pretorius for 30.
Kusal also made 30 before he was clean bowled by Pretorius, while Angelo Mathews was cleaned up by Chris Morris for 11.
Kusal Mendis became Pretorius’ third victim as he was caught by Morris at extra cover off the bowling of Pretorius for 23.
Dhananjaya de Silva mustered 24 runs before he was clean bowled by JP Duminy, while Jeevan Mendis was sent packing by Morris after scoring 18 runs.
With none of the remaining batsmen making any significant contributions, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 203.
Pretorius and Morris picked up three wickets apiece, while Rabada snapped up two, and Duminy and Andile Phehlukwayo chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 204 to win, South Africa lost opener JP Duminy early on as he was clean bowled by Lasith Malinga for 15.
However, that was to be Sri Lanka’s last taste of success as Du Plessis and Amla finished things off with an unbeaten 175-run partnership, during which both batsmen cruised past their fifties.
Du Plessis ended up making 96, which came off 103 balls and included 10 boundaries and a six, while Amla remained undefeated on 80, which came off 105 deliveries and included five boundaries.
Malinga was the only bowler to take a wicket.
Pretorius was named Man of the Match.