South Africa shattered Sri Lanka’s semi-final hopes after winning the match by 9 wickets at the Riverside Ground. Proteas who were already knocked out of the semifinals, picked up two points and their second win of the tournament. Sri Lanka now have 6 points from 7 matches and are sitting 7th on the points table.
Sri Lanka not only need to win their next 2 matches but hope England lose both their remaining matches and Pakistan and Bangladesh lose at least one of their next 2 to make the semi-final.
On Friday, South Africa dominated from the start after winning the toss and sending the Islanders to bat first. Sri Lanka suffered a major blow as early as the first ball of the match as a Kagiso Rabada bouncer sent captain Dimuth Karunaratne walking back for a duck.
However, Avishka Fernando, who looked full of class against England, and Kusal Perera took the attack to the South Africa pacers to keep the scoreboard moving in the first 10 overs.
South Africa though struck back when Fernando threw his wicket away by chipping it straight to the mid-off fielder to hand Dwaine Pretorius his first wicket. The South Africa speedster helped South Africa get back into the game as he removed Kusal Perera on 30 minutes after sending Fernando back.
Sri Lanka went on a free-fall after losing their two set batsmen. Angelo Matthews, who had hit a match-winning 85 against England fell to Chris Morris. Dhananjaya de Silva (24), Thisara Perera (21) and Jeevan Mendis all got starts but they weren’t able to convert it into big knocks. South Africa pacers were relentless as they made sure Sri Lanka were restricted to 203 on a good batting track.
Dwaine Pretorius and Chris Morris shone with 3 wickets apiece while Kagiso Rabada picked up 2 wickets.
In reply, South Africa lost opener Quinton de Kock early when a Lasith Malinga yorker crashed into the stumps. However, Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla made sure there were no more hiccups with a dominant batting display.
Faf du Plessis accelerated after getting to his 2nd fifty of World Cup 2019 and batted with the freedom that was missing in his knocks when South Africa were struggling to perform with the bat in their previous matches. Amla, who is in the twilight of his career, gave a solid support to his captain as the duo added a match-winning stand of 175 runs.
Source : Various