South Africa ended their ICC World T20 campaign with a consolation win over defending champions Sri Lanka by eight wickets at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Monday.
The Proteas bowlers justified their captain’s decision to field first as regular wicket-taking saw a clueless Sri Lanka fall like a pack of cards. Lankans were bundled out at 120 in 19.3 overs.
In reply, South Africa, previous edition’s semifinalists, reached the target with 14 balls to spare.
South Africa started their chase with boundaries, thanks to opener Quinton de Kock (9). The wicketkeeper cum batsman smashed two back-to-back fours in a single over. However, he was the victim of a misunderstanding with his partner Hashim Amla (56) as the former was run out by a superb Dilshan throw.
After De Kock’s departure, skipper Faf du Plessis (31) and Amla formed a steady partnership of 60 runs.
AB de Villiers (20) was the next to arrive. He made another partnership of Amla. Amla reached 1000-run milestone and became the fourth African cricketer to achieve this feat.
Sri Lankan stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal (21) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (36) did give the team a brisk start but soon lost the momentum after losing a couple of wickets.
Chandimal and Dilshan looked purposeful during their respective knocks as the duo got stuck into Dale Steyn’s second over which cost 16 runs.
But the introduction of spin changed the course for Proteas as Aaron Phangiso struck twice in his first over.
The left-arm spinner cleaned up Chandimal and then Lahiru Thirimanne on consecutive deliveries to be on a hat-trick.
Dilshan tried to steady the innings amid the regular wicket-fall but became Farhaan Behardien’s second victim to be lbw while attempting a reverse sweep.
The South African dominance continued as Lankan batsmen failed to show application in an inconsequential match where the teams are playing for pride.
Kyle Abbott, Phangiso and Behardien bagged two wickets apiece as Steyn also got a scalp in Thisara Perera to enjoy his second outing in the tournament.
Dasun Shanaka, coming in at number eight, made an unbeaten 20 to give some respect to the score at run-a-ball.