South Africa squeeze past Sri Lanka

South Africa 141 for 5 (Boucher 33*) beat Sri Lanka 137 for 8 (Kapugedera 61*, Kleinveldt 2-13) by five wickets

A combined team effort set up victory with three balls to spare as South Africa brushed past Sri Lanka in their first warm-up match ahead of the World Twenty20. A late fightback from Sanath Jayasuriya and Chamara Kapugedera allowed Sri Lanka to post a modest 137 for 8 and the match was finely balanced when AB de Villiers was dismissed in the 14th over with 63 still needed, but a 61-run partnership between Mark Boucher and Johan Botha took South Africa home in the final over.

Kumar Sangakkara opted to bat first after winning the toss but was quickly left ruing the decision as Tillakaratne Dilshan fell first ball to the impressive Rory Kleinveldt. Charl Langeveldt then struck twice in his second over to remove Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka slipped to 22 for 3.

Dinesh Chandimal lasted just two balls before he hit Morne Morkel to Herschelle Gibbs, and when Angelo Mathews was dismissed by Roelof van der Merwe Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 42 for 5 in the ninth over. But Jayasuriya drew on his vast experience in a relatively sedate 33 from 41 balls as he dominated a half-century stand with Kapugedera to claw his side back into the game.

Once he was dismissed, caught behind off Kleinveldt, Kapugedera came to the fore, slamming three fours and five sixes to finish unbeaten on 61. The wickets were shared around by the South African bowlers, with Kleinveldt, Langeveldt and Morkel taking two each, while Rusty Theron and van der Merwe weighed in with one apiece.

Nuwan Kulasekara removed Graeme Smith in his first over for single figures as Sri Lanka started their defence strongly, but Loots Bosman kept the score ticking over with a rapid 20. After his dismissal, Gibbs and de Villiers struggled to reach the boundary, and when they were removed in consecutive overs Sri Lanka were right back in the match.

But Botha and Boucher set about their task with gusto, scoring at more than 11 runs an over to take South Africa to the brink. Botha was bowled by Thissara Perera off the first ball of the final over, but Boucher sealed the confidence-boosting result with a boundary two balls later.

South Africa 2nd innings Partnerships

1st16LE BosmanGC Smith
2nd14HH GibbsLE Bosman
3rd39HH GibbsAB de Villiers
4th6MV BoucherAB de Villiers
5th61MV BoucherJ Botha
6th5MV BoucherRK Kleinveldt