World T20: Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 5 runs

Breakthroughs at crucial junctions enabled Sri Lanka to register a 5-run victory over South Africa in their opening ICC World Twenty20 game in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Saturday.

Chasing 166-run target, South Africa lost the momentum of their run chase when they lost wickets at regular intervals in the final seven overs and managed just 160/8 in their stipulated 20 overs.

Spinner Sachithra Senanayake (2-22) was pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Albie Morkel hit two consecutive sixes in his 4-ball 12 cameo before falling to Ajantha Mendis in the 17th over.

Sachithra Senanayake struck again to get rid of JP Duminy (39) soon after all-rounder Angelo Mathews dismissed AB de Villiers (24) at a crucial junction when South Africa
look at ease in their run chase.

Duminy smashed two maximums and three fours in his 30-ball knock before his wicket reduced South Africa to 119/4 in 15.4 overs.

AB smacked three fours in his quick-fire 16-ball knock but his fall reduced Proteas to 110/3 in 13.6 overs.

Senanayake got rid of Hashim Amla (23) in the 11th over to jolt the South African run chase. Amla hit two boundaries in his patient 26-ball knock and added fifty runs for the second wicket with Duminy.

South Africa lost Quinton de Kock (25) early after a solid start.

Pacer Lasith Malinga clean bowled De Kock in the fifth over to reduce South Africa to 32/1 in 4.3 overs. De Kock slammed a six and four fours in his 18-ball cameo.

Electing to bat, Kusal Perera (61) and Angelo Mathews (43) helped Sri Lanka post 165/7 against the Proteas.

Perera lead the Lankan innings with 40-ball 61, while Mathews hit a six and three boundaries in his 32-ball innings.

Spinner Imran Tahir (3-26) was the pick of the South African bowler as he dismissed Dinesh Chandimal (12), Perera and Kumar Sangakkara (14).

Pace duo of Dale Steyn (2-37) and Morne Morkel (2-31) also chipped in with couple of wickets each.

Perera slammed three sixes and six fours in his quick-fire knock before falling to spinner Imran Tahir. He added 41 runs for the third wicket with Sangakkara to revive the Sri Lankan innings after two early blows.

Tahir also dimissed Sangakkara to reduce Sri Lanka to 83/3 in 9.5 overs.

Electing to bat, Sri Lanka lost Mahela Jayawardene (9) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (0) inside five overs as they were reduced to 42/2 in 4.2 overs.

Paceman Dale Steyn gave Proteas an early breakthrough when he cleaned up Lankan opener Dilshan for duck in the very first over.

Earlier, Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and decided to bat first against South Africa.

Pace spearhead Dale Steyn has been declared fit as he is all set to play the World T20 opener while regular Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis missed the opening game as he has not fully recovered from the hamstring injury.

ODI skipper AB de Villiers will lead the South African side in place of injured Faf du Plessis against Sri Lanka.

Both the teams had two warm-up games ahead of World T20, Sri Lanka lost one to West Indies and beat India while South Africa stuttered but recovered to beat Bangladesh A and rolled Pakistan.

South Africa are in Group One of the event along with England, New Zealand and Netherlands as well as Sri Lanka. Title-holders the West Indies, Pakistan, India, Australia and Bangladesh are in Group Two.

South Africa have the edge over Sri Lanka as they recently won a series against them. South Africa have not won a knock-out match at an ICC event in 16 years, since they lifted the Champions Trophy in 1998.


South Africa: Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga.

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