35th match, Chester-le-Street, June 28, 2019, ICC Cricket World Cup
(37.2/50 ov, T:204) 206/1

South Africa won by 9 wickets (with 76 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
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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.

Perera to du Plessis, FOUR runs

very full, headed down the leg side, and Faf helps it on its way. Faf misses out on his hundred, but South Africa win by 9 wickets

Perera to Amla, 1 run

worked off the pads into the leg side, just the one

South Africa need 3, Faf needs 8. Amla's on strike

end of over 375 runs
SA: 201/1CRR: 5.43 RRR: 0.23
Faf du Plessis92 (102b 9x4 1x6)
Hashim Amla79 (104b 5x4)
Isuru Udana 5-0-29-0
Lasith Malinga 10-1-47-1
Udana to du Plessis, no run

lovely little slower ball from Udana, a little cutter, and it grips enough to beat the outside edge of Faf's drive

Saurabh: "Ironically this is the best 2nd wicket partnership of this World Cup."

Udana to Amla, 1 run

Amla stands tall, cracking a back of a length delivery off the back foot out to deep cover

Udana to Amla, no run
Udana to Amla, no run

very full and tailing in to off stump, Amla gets forward and drives to mid off

Vivek Mangal: "Amla, be a good colleague, play out the over."

Udana to Amla, 2 runs

worked off the straight into the leg side, raising South Africa's 200

Udana to Amla, 2 runs

steered down behind point, and they push hard for a second to take South Africa within one shot of victory

end of over 365 runs
SA: 196/1CRR: 5.44 RRR: 0.57
Faf du Plessis92 (101b 9x4 1x6)
Hashim Amla74 (99b 5x4)
Lasith Malinga 10-1-47-1
Isuru Udana 4-0-24-0
Malinga to du Plessis, no run

another firm drive flies straight to mid off. Amla had wandered out, looking to get Faf back on strike, but he's sent back

Vivek Mangal: "Take a single, keep the strike."

Malinga to du Plessis, no run

slower ball, a cutter, and Faf opts for safety, defending

Malinga to du Plessis, no run

Faf is audibly frustrated as he seizes on a full one outside off and thunders a shot into the off side, only to see it cleanly stopped at cover

Malinga to du Plessis, FOUR runs

slapped down the ground, four more! Malinga aimed very full again, but Faf found the middle of the bat with this straight drive and he's into the 90s. He could actually get a hundred here ...

Malinga to du Plessis, no run

full, straight and Faf does well just to dig it out into the leg side

Malinga to Amla, 1 run

Malinga gets a full one reversing in to Amla, but it starts too straight and he's flicked through square leg for a single

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

end of over 356 runs
SA: 191/1CRR: 5.45 RRR: 0.86
Faf du Plessis88 (96b 8x4 1x6)
Hashim Amla73 (98b 5x4)
Isuru Udana 4-0-24-0
Lasith Malinga 9-1-42-1
Udana to du Plessis, FOUR runs

Faf lets his bottom hand do the work with a crunchy on drive, which has the beating of the mid on fielder and rolls all the way for four

Udana to du Plessis, no run

there's a resounding crack off the bat as Faf attacks the off side, but he pings the field

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"

Udana to Amla, 1 run

nudged off the toes for one

Udana to Amla, no run

Amla is all wrist and timing as he forces this on the up towards cover point, but he places it too close to the fielder

Vinod: "Where was this South Africa all this while? If only this was their opening match, their entire campaign would have looked so different! Alas..."

Udana to du Plessis, 1 run

flicked through the leg side field, just the one

Ben: "Nail-biting finish. Who will get to the century first?" -- Neither, surely?

Udana to du Plessis, no run

a firm back foot punch finds the extra cover fielder, in the ring. No run

Abhijato: ""Eight teams went into the final fortnight alive, playing in weather straight out of a cricketing heaven/ The Proteas took down the Lankans with them, and then there were seven....." This World Cup hasn't been as thrilling as Ms Christie's 'And Then There Were None', but it certainly has the potential to be iconic in its genre as well. Here's to hoping the remained of this edition is as incredible as the 0WWW sequence from the last over of the recent Zimbabwe v Netherlands match :)"

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