ICC World Cup 2019: Match 35, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Review – Faf and Amla drown the Islanders’ semi-final hopes

ICC World Cup 2019: Match 35, Sri Lanka vs South Africa, Review – Faf and Amla drown the Islanders’ semi-final hopes

Sri Lanka blew off a great chance of uncomplicated qualification and are now in the same line as England, Pakistan and Bangladesh, perhaps a foot or two behind.

South African team
South African team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Despite losing out on a chance of making it to the semi-finals, South Africa put up a spirited performance on Friday to take Sri Lanka down. The Islanders had a much better chance of making it to the playoffs when compared to the other teams before the start of this game, but now they too have to be dependent on other results to make it to the top four.

The game started off with a bang as Kagiso Rabada dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne off the first ball of the innings. Kusal Perera was joined by the young sensation Avishka Fernando, who once again played some delightful shots to get going. Perera too was not holding back as Sri Lanka garnered 67 runs off the powerplay but just before the first ten overs ended, Fernando was dismissed for a 29-ball 30.

Kusal Perera soon followed suit as Sri Lanka were reduced to 72/3 inside 12 overs. Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis did some damage control but their resistance too wasn’t good enough to withstand Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius’s exceptional fast bowling. Morris knocked over Mathews’ stumps whilst Pretorius ended Mendis’s struggle, leaving Lanka struggling at 111/5.

With more than 20 overs remaining, it seemed difficult for them to get a respectable total on board. Dhananjaya de Silva and the batsmen who followed him chipped in with bits and pieces contributions but no one got a move. Morris and Pretorius, combined by the brilliance of Kagiso Rabada, made the Lankans starve for runs in the final few overs of their innings.

With a boundary in the final over, Lasith Malinga got them past the 200-mark but that was the last scoring shot of their innings. He hit the next delivery straight to mid-off as Sri Lanka got bowled out for 203 runs. Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius picked up three wickets each for South Africa.

Faf and Amla drive the Safaris home comfortably

Quinton de Kock squandered yet another chance of scoring big despite getting some early boundaries. He hit three boundaries before Lasith Malinga’s in-swinger tailed back sharp enough to crash his stumps. The Asian side found no reason to smile after that as Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis took over the show and entertained the crowd.

Suranga Lakmal was one of the major victims of the Protea brilliance with the willow. There was no hurry as the target was pretty moderate and they played it according to the situation. They collected runs at well over 5-an-over to put Sri Lanka completely out of the game and with very little risk involved, they both got to their half-centuries as well.

Hashim Amla survived a leg-before scare as DRS had overturned a leg-before call in the 31st over. Apart from that, there wasn’t much fuss in the run chase and the duo completed the proceedings with 12.4 overs remaining. The South African skipper did the bulk of the scoring towards the end to get to a hundred, which he couldn’t. While Amla remained unbeaten on 80 as the duo sealed a simple 9-wicket win.

Brief Scores

Sri Lanka: 203 all out in 49.3 overs (Avishka Fernando 30, Kusal Perera 30; Dwaine Pretorius 3/25, Chris Morris 3/46)

South Africa:  206/1 in 37.2 overs (Faf du Plessis 96*, Hashim Amla 80*)

Result: South Africa won by 9 wickets

Man of the match: Dwaine Pretorius