South Africa Beat Sri Lanka By 9 Wickets. An unbeaten 175-run partnership between Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis saw South Africa register a consolation 9-wicket win against Sri Lanka in their ICC World Cup 2019 group match at Chester-le-Street on Friday (June 28).
Du Plessis (96*) and Amla (80*) ensured the Proteas chased down the target of 204 in just 37.2 overs, leaving Sri Lanka’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals hanging by a thread.
Amla and his opening partner Quinton de Kock got off to a flier, scoring regular boundaries and rotating the strike well.
The two looked set for a big partnership before a trademark in-swinging yorker from Lasith Malinga crept under De Kock’s bat and rattled his leg stump.
That turned out to be the only noteworthy moment for Sri Lanka with the ball as the experienced duo of Amla and Du Plessis ensured there would be no more hiccups in the run chase.
The two started slowly before Amla and Du Plessis got a boundary each off Thisara Perera in the 10th over and they began to score at a more consistent rate thereafter.
The duo continued to run the 1s and 2s to ensure the scoreboard remained ticking while occasionally finding the boundary.
Amla brought up his half-century in the 20th over and Du Plessis did the same in the 28th over, after which they continued to score runs with ease.
Amla survived an LBW call towards the end of the game and Du Plessis fell just short of bringing up a century but he did get South Africa home with a boundary down the leg side.
Earlier Sri Lanka, whose victory against tournament hosts England last week revived their hopes of reaching the semi-finals after a miserable start to the competition, were bowled out for just 203.
They were all out in the 50th over in the northeast of England after losing wickets at regular intervals throughout their innings.
Recalled seamer Dwaine Pretorius was the pick of the South African bowlers, taking 3-25 in his 10 overs while Chris Morris also finished with three wickets.
Sri Lanka had a disastrous start to their innings when captain Dimuth Karunaratne was caught at slip by Du Plessis off the first ball of the match, delivered by Kagiso Rabada.
Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando batted positively to take the score to 67 for one in the 10th over before Fernando (30) mistimed a shot, sending the ball steepling into the air before it was taken by Du Plessis.
Perera (30) was next to go, chopping a Pretorius delivery onto his stumps as Sri Lanka slipped to 72-3 in the 12th over.
Angelo Mathews was bowled by Morris for 11 and Kusal Mendis departed for 23. Every recognised batsman apart from Karunaratne reached double-figures but none went on to play a big innings.
A swarm of bees briefly interrupted play towards the end of the innings, forcing the players and umpires to lie flat on the ground before the fall of the final wicket.