1st Quarter-Final, Sydney

South Africa v Sri Lanka

At Sydney, March 18, 2015 (day/night). South Africa won by nine wickets. Toss: Sri Lanka. One-day international debut: P. H. T. Kaushal.
This was expected to be the tightest of the quarter-finals - but it proved the opposite, after a powerful bowling and fielding performance gave South Africa their first win in a World Cup knockout match, at the sixth attempt. Spinners Duminy and Imran Tahir claimed seven wickets between them, but it was the pace, accuracy and hostility of the seamers which set the tone. They did not bowl a loose delivery and, on the back of a record-breaking four consecutive centuries, Sangakkara found himself with just six runs from his first 42 balls. Vast experience taught him patience, but the release in pressure never arrived. Thirimanne was the only Sri Lankan to look remotely comfortable, until Tahir's flight produced a return catch. Jayawardene was soon undone by a rapid skidder and chipped to midwicket. At the end of the 33rd over, Mathews whipped Duminy straight to midwicket as well. Kulasekara edged the first ball of Duminy's next over, then Tharindu Kaushal played back and was plumb in front, to complete the ninth hat-trick in World Cup history (two of them by Malinga, who later took the only South African wicket to fall). Sangakkara's long vigil ended with a slash to wide third man, ninth out with 45 from 96 deliveries; there wasn't a soul in the ground who believed his team were not condemned with his departure. Under no pressure, de Kock played his only substantial innings of the tournament, full of delightful cuts and drives, to hasten Sri Lanka's demise. The spindly off-spinner Kaushal was the second to make his one-day international debut in a World Cup knockout match after England's Wayne Larkins in the 1979 semi-final against New Zealand, but he made little impression. It was a sad way for Jayawardene and Sangakkara to end their one-day careers. NEIL MANTHORP Man of the Match: Imran Tahir.

© John Wisden & Co