South Africa gets consolatory win

It was not easy for the players to stay motivated in an inconsequential contest, with the semifinalists already decided. Such being the scenario, it was truly commendable that Amla played his part to perfection.

Aaron Phangiso (right) bowled a tight spell, picking two wickets for 26 runs.   -  Getty Images

Chasing 121 to sign off its campaign on a winning note, South Africa paced its response well to get an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the last World Twenty20 group game here on Monday.

The crowd in excess of 16,000 came to the Ferozeshah Kotla ground hoping to watch their hero AB de Villiers score big. But by the time he arrived at the crease, at 75 for two, there was not much left in the contest.

> Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Still, de Villiers did his bit. He hit a six that brought the crowd to its feet. His second six ended the match in 18th over.

In fact, it was >Hashim Amla who helped himself to a half-century, went past 1000 runs in the shortest format and ensured an easy victory for South Africa.

Amla, not usually given his due for his ability to score well over the strike-rate of 100 in T20 games, once again proved to be an effective performer on a pitch that assisted the Lankan spinners. He remained unbeaten with 52-ball 56, with a six and five boundaries.

It was not easy for the players to stay motivated in an inconsequential contest, with the semifinalists already decided. Such being the scenario, it was truly commendable that Amla played his part to perfection.

Earlier in the contest, there was a time when it appeared that the South Africans could be chasing a bigger target.

 

Sri Lanka, in spite of man-of-the-match >Aaron Phangiso’s twin-strike in the fifth over, was cruising at 71 for two after nine overs, with >Tillakaratne Dilshan looking set for a big knock.

However, in the next 10.3 overs that the innings lasted, Lanka traded eight wickets for just 49 runs!

Dinesh Chandimal who took over the captaincy from Angelo Mathews (who was rested for the game), promised much after his 20-ball 21 that included a six and a four off Dale Steyn’s second over that fetched 16 runs.

The stand-in skipper failed to read the turn from left-arm spinner just like Lahiru Thirimanne was to do off the next delivery to lose his leg-stump.

Milinda Siriwardana looked good until he was run-out following a mix-up with Dilshan. Thereafter, Shehan Jayasuriya failed to score big as well. The backbone of Lanka's batting was truly broken when Dilshan, Kapugedara and Perera fell in successive overs.

Dasun Shanaka tried to add some brisk runs but lost the company of Rangana Herath in the 18th over, before Kyle Abbot returned to scalp Vandersay with an express delivery. Off the next ball, the Lankan innings ended when Lakmal failed to beat a direct throw from David Weise at the non-striker’s end.