Proteas pummel hosts in rain-hit match
South Africa won World Twenty20 Group C with a 32-run thumping of Sri Lanka in a seven-over game at Hambantota.
AB de Villiers’ 13-ball 30 lifted the Proteas to an imposing 74 for four, which the hosts never threatened in stumbling to 46 for five as Dale Steyn returned 2-10.
With both sides having beaten Zimbabwe to qualify for the Super Eights where their pools were predestined, South Africa’s victory matters little other than building their momentum.
Persistent rain threatened a washout but the toss was finally possible and de Villiers opted to set a target. Each side showed one change with Francois du Plessis in for Robin Peterson and Rangana Herath replacing Ajantha Mendis, whose side strain meant he could not add to six scalps in the tournament opener.
Dilshan Munaweera’s stunning catch, running back from mid-on, gave Nuwan Kulasekara Richard Levi’s wicket in the first over and his opening partner, Hashim Amla, was stumped off Herath for 16 having hit three fours.
De Villers cross-batted Herath and Lasith Malinga for sixes before chipping the latter to mid-off. Immediately after du Plessis had holed out to long-off, JP Duminy struck Thisara Perera for four and six to end the innings.
Mahela Jayawardene got going with a lofted off-side four but next ball Tillakaratne Dilshan was narrowly run out when wicketkeeper de Villiers dived to take a relay from extra-cover and break the stumps. Jayawardene holed out to deep square-leg off Steyn in the second over.
Kumar Sangakkara was twice dropped, first by du Plessis running back from point and then by Albie Morkel who could not hold a steepling chance at midwicket, but did not profit much as he was soon caught behind for 13 off Jacques Kallis.
Steyn had Perera held at midwicket and it was three wickets in as many overs when Munaweera located deep cover off Albie Morkel to fall for 13 in the last. That Lahiru Thirimanne was then shelled at short third man mattered little.