ICC World Cup 2019, Match 35: Sri Lanka vs South Africa – Who Said What

ICC World Cup 2019, Match 35: Sri Lanka vs South Africa – Who Said What

Pretorius got the Player of the Match award for his magnificent spell.

Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

Prior to their match against South Africa at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street, Sri Lanka were in with a great chance of making themselves strong contenders for the semis. However, Dimuth Karunaratne and Co got thrashed by their opponents by nine wickets. After the drubbing, it has become tougher for Lanka to qualify for the next round. The game didn’t have much in for the Proteas, who salvaged some pride.

After being thrashed by the Pakistan batsmen at Lord’s, the Proteas made an incredible comeback as Lanka could only score 203 runs in 49.3 overs. Kagiso Rabada drew first blood, nipping out Dimuth Karunaratne for a golden duck on the very first over of the match. Thereafter, Kusal Perera (30) and Avishka Fernando (30) took charge and stitched together a quickfire stand of 67 off 58 to make Lanka utilise the mandatory powerplay.

However, Dwaine Pretorius got rid of both the set batsmen in a space of a couple of overs after which the Islanders couldn’t stage a comeback. Most of the Lankan batters got into double figures, but no one could take their team out of the precarious position. For the Proteas, Pretorius was the most successful as the lanky speedster picked up three wickets, conceding 25 runs. Rabada and Chris Morris got two and three wickets respectively.

Proteas salvage pride in Chester-le-Street

South Africa got off to a fast start courtesy of Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock’s 31-run stand off 29 deliveries. Just when De Kock was set to come into his own, Lasith Malinga churned out a vicious Yorker and cut short the southpaw’s stay. The required run-rate was never a challenge and Faf du Plessis along with Amla didn’t play any shot out of anger. Rather, they put their heads down and took the game out of Lanka’s radar.

Amla got to his second fifty of the tournament off 56 deliveries. Du Plessis also racked up a well-crafted half-century off 70 balls to show what he is capable of. They brought up their century stand off 122 balls. It was just a matter of time before the curtains came down on the proceedings. While Amla stayed unbeaten in 80 from 105, Du Plessis remained not on 92 off 102. The Proteas tracked down the target with 77 balls to spare.

Dwaine Pretorius, the Player of the Match, said

I am happy that we got over the line today and glad that I could play a part in that. (His preparation) Try and work as hard as possible. At the end of the day, I am happy that I was ready for the opportunity and glad that I was able to contribute. I think me and Faf spoke after my third over, we just realised that hitting the top of the off is a good idea on this pitch. Glad that I was able to execute it. Guys are stoked over there, we showed today what we’re all about. Just sad that it came only now.

Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain, said

Long time coming. It was a good game and we did ourself justice in all three departments. We’ve been trying to get Pretorius in but the combinations weren’t working, so today he came in place of Lungi. We didn’t really start well. The nature of the wicket told me that we needed to bowl straight lines, a consistent top-of-off lines. It feels bitter-sweet, it doesn’t feel like it means much. It’s a little too late.

We’ve batted well all through the tournament, but we just didn’t have guys batting through. Hashim gave us a good foundation, I batted well. I think Bangladesh was the one that took the wind out of us. England are a good time and they were too good for us. But Bangladesh gave us a sucker punch and because we had a game immediately after that we couldn’t recover.

Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lanka captain, said

I think all departments went wrong. In the batting, Kusal and Avishka batted really well, but we just weren’t able to rotate the strike. Unfortunately, we had only 200 on the board and the wicket was getting better and better after which they batted really well. I felt the wicket was really slow, they bowled really well and their fielders in the ring kept the pressure on. They planned really well.

We couldn’t get the singles and kept looking for big shots. Malinga started really well, but we couldn’t build any pressure from the other end. We have to learn how to build pressure on the batsmen from these kind of tournaments. We have two matches and we have to beat West Indies and India in both matches. They are tough teams and we have to try and do well in those matches.