South Africa v Sri Lanka World T20 - 5 Talking Points

South Africa v Sri Lanka World T20 – 5 Talking Points

Hashim Amla of South Africa
DELHI, INDIA – MARCH 28: Hashim Amla of South Africa celebrates a half century during the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 Super 10s Group 1 match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at The Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Ground on March 28, 2016 in Delhi, India. (Photo by Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

The last group encounter of the ongoing World T20 was an inconsequential one. The two teams playing the match, South Africa and Sri Lanka were both ousted from the tournament. Despite this fact, the two teams had their pride at stake.

Sri Lanka got off to a flying start as their openers Dinesh Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan looked good at the crease. However, they remained to be the only Sri Lankan batsmen who could find their feet at the crease. Sri Lanka posted a meagre 120 on the board and were bundled out in 19.3 overs. South Africa, despite losing Quinton de Kock early, kept marching steadily as Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla kept rotating the strike. An unbeaten 56 from Amla and quick 20 off 12 balls by AB de Villiers, in the end, saw South Africa chase down the total with 8 wickets in hand.

1. Inconsequential clash:

The match did not hold much importance with regards to the stage the tournament was poised at. All four semi-finalist sides were pre-determined prior to the game, and sadly neither South Africa nor Sri Lanka were among those four. Hence, the result of this match would not have impacted the proceedings. However, it was the pride at stake for the two sides as they had to give some cheer to their fans back home. South Africa lost their flow in the tournament after a 3-wicket defeat at the hands of West Indies. They were then dependent on Sri Lanka to beat England and get net run rate in play. However as the English defeated Sri Lanka in a close game, and with that both South Africa and Sri Lanka were knocked out of the tournament.

2. Decent start:

Sri Lanka got off to a decent start in their innings. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal and veteran batsman Dilshan looked in good touch. Chandimal, in particular, took liking to Proteas spearhead, Dale Steyn. The openers put up 45 runs for the first wicket in just 29 balls. The pitch looked like a batting wicket when the Sri Lankan openers were batting. While Chandimal stepped on the accelerator straightaway, Dilshan was slow to get a move on. The partnership was broken when spinner Aaron Phangiso got through the defences of Chandimal to dismiss him on 21 off 20 balls. Dilshan kept playing an uncharacteristic inning before getting out on 36 by Farhan Behardien. Dilshan took 40 balls to muster his 36 runs with four boundaries and a six.

3. Sri Lankan batting collapse:

The openers gave a good start to Sri Lanka but once the wicket of Chandimal fell, the game seemed to change drastically. All of a sudden the pitch looked like a graveyard for the batsmen. Thirimanne was dismissed on the very first ball he face. Only four out of the eleven players in the side could reach double figures. Not just did the run scoring see the choke, the wickets kept tumbling as well. Dilshan lost his plot too and was seen struggling for survival. Had it not been Dasun Shanaka’s 20 runs in the end, Sri Lanka would have struggled to cross the 100-run mark. What was more demoralising for Sri Lanka was the fact that they were bowled out inside 20 overs.

4. Amla shows the game:

The wicket at Kotla was a tricky one and that was evident during the first innings. It wasn’t one of those tracks where the batsmen could come in and get going. There was uneven bounce and the ball was stopping and gripping on the surface. While de Kock failed to read the wicket in the run chase, his opening partner, Hashim Amla, was impressive with his performance. Amla guided South Africa home with an unbeaten 56 that came off 52 balls with 5 fours and a six. Run scoring was tough but certainly not impossible. This is exactly what Amla showed during his innings. Having applied himself, he got good support from Faf du Plessis and the partnership between them was the difference between the two sides on the night.

5. AB de Villiers packs a punch:

AB de Villiers arrived at the crease with South Africa still needing 46 to win. The rest of the batsmen seemed to be playing on a different track and AB on another. In his short innings that lasted 12 balls, de Villiers hit two mighty sixes to seal the game for South Africa. He remained unbeaten on 20 as he finished off in grand fashion by hitting Lakmal for a six over deep midwicket. The Kotla crowd erupted and finally there was some display of power hitting for the fans.

How did the match pan out? – SL v SA World T20 Review: Proteas prove too strong for Sri Lanka in the dead rubber