5.37pm Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla share in an unbroken 175-run stand, and South Africa have flattened Sri Lanka to win by nine wickets. South Africa's good work started with the ball. Kagiso Rabada struck with the very first ball of the match, and Dwaine Pretorius found conditions very much to his liking. He settled into a steady line and length and reaped the reward with three cheap wickets. Chris Morris wasn't quite as economical, but he chipped in with three wickets of his own, and Sri Lanka's 203 all out was never going to be enough, barring another Malinga miracle. Alas, it was not forthcoming this time around. Quinton de Kock fell early, but Faf and Amla were rock solid in taking South Africa home. South Africa score a consolation win, but this defeat doesn't quite put Sri Lanka completely out of the reckoning: they could still reach 10 points.
"I'm just happy we got over the line today and I'm glad I could play a part in that," says Player of the Match Dwaine Pretorius. "I try and work as hard as possible, and most guys give me a bit of flak for that, but at the end of the day I'm glad i was ready to take the opportunity that came to me," he says with a laugh. "Me and Faf spoke after my third over, and we realized hitting the top of off was the best option on this wicket, and I'm glad i could execute today. The guys are stoked, we showed what we are capable of, I'm just sad that it's too late."
Shaheed Shaikh: "Pretorius Maximus!!!!!"
Bhashvid: "Sad day for us as lankan fans but still there' s hope of qualifying for semis through India beating England and Sri Lanka winning their last two matches against Windies and India. Proteas showed showed their professionalism in all departments bowling, fielding & batting and superb captaincy by Faf"
Aayush Pathak: "This is SA with pressure and without pressure. Clinical performance but cant do it when under pressure. Should I be sad or happy for this victory?"
"All departments went wrong, especially the batting," laments losing captain Dimuth Karunaratne. "Once Kusal and Avishka batted really well, we struggled to get even singles. If you cant rotate the strike, it's not easy. There's pressure, and then there are big shots. The wicket got better and better, and SA batted really well. The pitch was a bit slow, and SA bowled really well. They built pressure and kept fielders in the ring. They planned really well. We couldn't get singles. We needed to get wickets early. Malinga started really well, but at the other end we couldn't build pressure. These are the sorts of things we need to think about and learn from. We have two more games, we have to win those two games. We have to work hard in all three departments. Heads up, and hopefully we'll do well."
"Long time coming hey," says Faf du Plessis, who ends up on the winning side for a change. "It was a good game, we did ourselves justice with the talent we have in that dressing room. Set up by a good bowling performance: Dwaine was exceptional. We've been trying to get him into the XI, but it's a balance thing. The nature of the wicket told me it needed to be straight lines with the ball, and that's why I brought Dwaine and Andile on early. Line and length was harder to face than pace on that wicket. [This win] feels bittersweet. It doesn't feel like it means that much. It's a little bit too late. But the basics of batting were shown today. We haven't had guys batting through, and big partnerships, but that was the case today. One big partnership, and suddenly everything seems so much easier. Bangladesh was the one that really took the wind out of our sails. England were too good for us on that day. Bangladesh really sucker-punched us in the stomach, and then we took that into the next game, the first week really set us back, but we cant use that as an excuse."
venu kumar: "Now qualification for Sri Lanka become difficult.. they not only have to win their next 2 games, but also England should lose their next 2.. These are all coming into picture considering Pakistan and Bangladesh losing at least one of their last 2 games.. very difficult!!!" -- Very difficult indeed, but not impossible.
Atin: "Did I hear someone say SL beating India? "
Mark: "Told you this morning that it would be okay, Liam!" -- I should have listened
And that's just about all from your commentary team today. We do hope you've enjoyed our coverage. You can find Dan Brettig's report right here, and stay tuned for Andrew Fidel Fernando's dispatch from Chester-le-Street, which will land a little later. And then let's do it all again tomorrow! Until then, goodbye.
South Africa need 3, Faf needs 8. Amla's on strike
Saurabh: "Ironically this is the best 2nd wicket partnership of this World Cup."
Vivek Mangal: "Amla, be a good colleague, play out the over."
Vivek Mangal: "Take a single, keep the strike."
Rajib: "SA need 18, Faf needs 16, and SL need a miracle". Well, here's the man most likely to provide a miracle. Malinga to bowl his last
orlando: "with todays SA victory..Sunday"s India England cricket match will be a unique, once in a century match event. For the first time since 1947, 1.2 billion Indians and 200 million Pakistainis & 150 miilion Bangladeshis and 25 million Sri Lankan's will be praying for an Indian win. I just love the scenario"