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Perera powers Sri Lanka to prosperity

Kusal Perera's clean top-order hitting set up a five-run win for Sri Lanka in their World Twenty20 Group One opener against South Africa.

Perera struck 61 in 40 balls at the head of the innings, including six fours and three sixes, to see the world number ones to 165 for seven after they chose to bat first in Chittagong.

Kusal Perera lays into South Africa's attack during his 61 that set up a score of 165 for seven and a five-run success at Chittagong

The Proteas’ top four made a base to attack their target in the closing stages but, with 19 needed from the last two overs, Nuwan Kulasekara conceded just four from the 19th.

Lasith Malinga then closed out the victory as South Africa, missing injured skipper Francois du Plessis, suffered two run-outs in the final over and ended on 160 for eight.

Perera, one of three wickets for Imran Tahir whose four overs cost 26 as the Proteas chipped away with the ball, received best support came from Angelo Mathews, who contributed 43. There were also two breakthroughs each for Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

South Africa’s first four of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and stand-in skipper AB de Villiers all exceeded 22, but crucially none of them went beyond Duminy’s 39 - Sachithra Senanayake striking twice - and Sri Lanka’s threat at the death was telling.

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