South Africa v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong March 22, 2014

Tight bowling disrupts South Africa


Sri Lanka 165 for 7 (Kusal 61, Tahir 3-26) beat South Africa 160 for 8 (Duminy 39, Senanayake 2-22) by five runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Lasith Malinga versus David Miller. It was supposed to be the yorker versus the big hit. It was supposed to be the cracking finish. But the pressure resulted in miscommunication and again, South Africa ended up on the wrong side of a chase.

With 15 runs needed off the final over and a finisher at the crease, the batting side is always in with a chance, even if that is narrowed by the presence of Malinga. South Africa, however, did not give themselves an opportunity to capitalise. Twin run-outs off the first two balls of the final over, including that of Miller's, left the tail-enders with too much to do against a team who has only lost defending a score of 160-plus twice in the past.

The real damage had been done four overs before when Albie Morkel threatened to take the game away with a couple of assertive sixes. The boom quickly turned to bust. Dinesh Chandimal saw Morkel's plan and moved himself to wide long-on, just square of where the two previous sixes had gone. Ajantha Mendis bowled a low full toss, the kind of delivery Morkel would have hit for six many times before but he didn't get enough on it. Chandimal took the catch inches inside and seemed to know South Africa's fate was sealed.

Sri Lanka appeared the more assertive side from the get-go even though South Africa were buoyed by Dale Steyn's return to full fitness. Their pace spearhead started off with a Pandora's box of an over. He went too full to Kusal Perera who took two fours and a six off him and gave himself two extra deliveries to bowl courtesy a pair of wides. The last of them uprooted Tillakaratne Dilshan's off stump.

Kusal was less ambitious against Lonwabo Tsostobe, who used the slower ball well, but still managed to play the pick-up shot against both Tsotsobe and Morne Morkel. With a healthy covering of grass on the pitch, Morne found some extra bounce to account for Mahela Jayawardene, who was caught off a splice to mid-on. Despite the two wickets in the first six overs, Kusal's big-hitting took Sri Lanka to 51 for 2 at the end of the power-play.

AB De Villiers, captaining in place of the injured Faf du Plessis, introduced spin immediately after the fielding restrictions. JP Duminy started with some control but South Africa's fourth seamer, Albie was guilty of bowling too full. Kusal's fifty came up off 29 balls, the second fastest half-century scored against South Africa, with a single behind square on the leg side.

It was only when Imran Tahir came on that the squeeze was on. Sri Lanka's batsmen found him tricky to pick. Both Kusal and Kumar Sangakkara were foxed by the googly and the run-rate slowed. South Africa gave only 37 runs in the five-over period between 10 and 15 to peg Sri Lanka back.

Angelo Mathews tried to be the architect of a last five-over burst and deposited Tahir over long-on. Chandimal was stumped when he attempted the same, to give Tahir his best returns in T20 cricket of 3 for 26. Mathews batted into the last over and Sri Lanka collected 48 from the final five to set South Africa a challenging total.

Quinton de Kock gave South Africa a solid start when he guided them to 31 in the first three overs. He did not have to deal with Malinga in the opening exchanges, but when he did, de Kock's stumps were broken by a crunching yorker.

South Africa stuck to the strategy of holding de Villiers back and sent JP Duminy at No.3. Duminy's intent to give himself some time bore fruit in the ninth over. Thisara Perera was driven down the ground, slammed over long-on and then scooped for six. Ajantha Mendis was taken for 12 runs in the next over.

Duminy had Hashim Amla for company for 6.2 overs and put on fifty runs to give South Africa stability if not speed, which could come when Amla, the only batsman to have a strike-rate below 100, hit the ball straight to short cover. De Villiers was under some pressure but dealt with it well against both Mendis and Malinga. Mathews had the measure of him when he held back both the pace and the length to an advancing de Villiers, who top-edged.

With de Villiers gone, Duminy should have anchored the chase and left the slogging to Miller but could not hold back. He swept Senanayake to cow corner and South Africa's slide had begun. Despite the big-hitters at their disposal they lost six wickets for 42 runs and the chase unraveled to leave the margin looking closer than it actually was.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sheethal on March 25, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    @MichaelBurton Everyone in the world knows who the best batsman is!!! Kohli has scored runs all over the world in all formats including 100's in SA, NZ & ENG & has scored 25 100's & he is still 25!! ABD is a choker just like South African team & never performs under pressure.....very rarely performs in ICC events like World Cup & W20!!! ABD has been playing for SA for long time but hasn't made any significant contribution by winning any ICC event!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    Good win for SL. Congrats. From India fan.

    But, nevertheless, Steyn is always hammer and tongs against India, but he is a tired caricature of himself when it comes to other teams.

  • Manoj on March 24, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    @ Shami_over_Steyn : Who is this Shami guy? Don't even think to compare these club level bowlers to great players. You are a team full of club level bowlers and flat track bulies.

  • Manoj on March 24, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    @Anand Kumar: It is just "Devilliers era". Kohli is a flat track buly. All the Asians especially Indians are flat track bulies. Remember what happened to you in SA and NZ.

  • Neranga on March 24, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    @ 11MP Koholi's hammering.. Oh Yeah We are waiting... which means you believe that Srilannka will come to semis or finals... no doubt kohli is a classy batsman whatever his attitudes are..... and bD fans are saying so rubbish about SL fans.. if BD need to compare their team with SL( NEVER EVER)1st you guys need to get a victory over test nations in group 2 ... then talk we will also supportive too.. but without having performing well you guys are telling we could have done better.. we will be like that team, this team will be world beaters,upset talks ,we can beat any one @ home.... What a jokes men...1st show some consistency... we all know that no one can win forever.. we SL fans not just like INDIANS... we respect wt deserve to respect no matter it is BD, HK,Netherlands,India... etc.. We didnt say BD isnt talented... They really are but show some performance before talking.. otherwise talking only....

  • Shah on March 23, 2014, 18:53 GMT

    @BDrox11: i forgot when i last saw such a disgraceful & retard commentator like seems to me a big BROKER of all teams playing against BD & you join the uninvited party this is your standard!! does your country even play cricket LOL! or what you are so called Srilankan?LOL! why your so called big boys group & YOU talking false&negative on BD's performance in SL vs SA forum so its very much simple that BD fans will show you their stand but other than that BD gives a damn&doesn't have that lowly nature like fans like you!...but if you really had even a little SHAME then you won't have come to BD forum earliar&comment,so better change your profile name now for good so i can't catch you again! you are saying AFG, HK & Nep are a bit upper than BD &comparing being ridiculous this also proves how much you are shameless claiming for your biggest dream of associates to be better than BD LOL...BD already the group champion in the qualifying round! but so what as BD knew it was inevitable

  • associate cricket fan on March 23, 2014, 18:07 GMT

    @asgar.ali When Was the last time BD won in order for us to even appreciate your team. Let me know when you beat Hong kong team, so that we will come and appreciate your team.

  • Dummy on March 23, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Best of luck sl. Long way to as a sri lankan win or lose we with u.

  • Asgar on March 23, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Let's see the difference between levels of fans from 2 countries.

    1. If Kusal/Kula play good cricket, they are world beaters. But if Tamim/Shakib/Al hussain perform, their fans can't appreciate them.

    2. If SL wins, their hard work pay. If BD win, it becomes fluke.

    3. If BD win against SL, SL fans are getting upset & showing disgrace while BD fans should listen to them like school kid. If SL win over BD, SL fans start boasting on BD fans & BD fans have no rights to argue with them since their team has lost.

    Now here I specifically commented on SL fans. None of the points had been objected instead slamming of my country & of my team are seen every where. It means that SL fans got every rights to absurd on every team (forget BD). On the other hand, BD fans must be silent just because their team has lost.

  • Chandima on March 23, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    @asgar.ali on (March 23, 2014, 7:17 GMT): Mate, you have got it all wrong! Sri Lanka win not because they have the best players in the world but because they know their limitations and play accordingly. Each player is aware of what he can do and what he can't and they also know the part they are expected to play in the team. they are a well oiled machine and they are bloody hard to beat! Also mate you just need to score 1 more run that the opposite to win a game! Also SL will play their game as per the quality of the opposition. They don't need to play with the same intensity when they are playing a team like BD, that they'll have to show when playing a team like SA. Also no team can win a world cup without reaching the knockout stage, don't you know? With regard to a bowling actions, well...I'll just say don't go there mate!

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