Five days after stunning hosts England to revive their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign, Sri Lanka came up with an insipid performance against South Africa at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street on Friday. The Proteas, who are already out of the semi-final race, have dented the Islander’s last-four chances with a 9-wicket win.
South Africa picked up only their 2nd win of the tournament and ended a two-match losing streak with a dominant performance that has come a bit too late for them in this World Cup 2019 campaign. Sri Lanka now have 6 points from 7 matches and are sitting 7th on the 10-team points table.
Sri Lanka now need to not only win their next 2 matches (West Indies on July 1 and India on July 6) 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.
South Africa win!
Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 28, 2019
Sri Lanka were completely outclassed by South Africa, who won the toss and sent the Islanders in. 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 0.
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.
Amla, du Plessis add 175 for the 2nd wicket
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.
Buoyed by the win, South Africa will be hoping to sign off their World Cup 2019 campaign on a high when they take on their arch-rivals Australia on July 6.