World Cup 2015 Q/F 1: South Africa thrash Sri Lanka by 9 wickets to enter semis

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South African cricket team
South African cricket team

It was a match where Sri Lanka were touted as  overwhelming favorites. But that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainty was proved yet again as South Africa stunned Sri Lanka by a convincing 9 wickets to enter the World Cup 2015 semis finals. After Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss he would not have ever imagined that South African all-rounder JP Duminy would take a hat-trick and help South Africa power their way to the World Cup semi-finals by dismissing Sri Lanka for 133 in their last eight clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

 South Africa were very professional in their chase of the modest Sri Lankan total of 133. Despite losing opener Hashim Amla early for 16 they were never in a spot of bother . Wicket- keeper batsman and opener Quinton De Kock who has been struggling for form bounced back with some form striking an unbeaten 78 and Faf Du Plessis unbeaten on 21 completed the formalities to fashion an improbable South African win.

 Earlier, The incisive Proteas bowlers removed both openers inside the first five overs and never eased up the pressure thereafter. Duminy (3-29) dismissed Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews (19) with the final ball of the 33rd over and returned to send back Nuwan Kulasekara (1) and ODI debutant Tharindu Kaushal (0) with the first two deliveries of the 35th. The ninth World Cup hat-trick left the 1996 champions reeling at 116-8 after the loss four wickets for just two runs in three overs and when consistent and four ton hero Kumar Sangakkara was dismissed, the writing was clearly on the wall.

 Sangakkara, who had been looking for a fifth successive century, scored a measured 45 from 95 balls tried hard but with wickets tumbling around him , he holed out to deep third man off paceman Morne Morkel. There was a light shower break in between, but Sri Lankan innings were already in tatters.

 It only delayed the inevitable, however, and Lasith Malinga (3) was the last man to depart, hammering the ball to David Miller at cover off South Africa’s other main spin threat Imran Tahir. Tahir who bowled impressively took 4-26, including the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene to leave another retiring Sri Lanka batting great with a tally of four runs in his final innings in the 50-over format.  South Africa now will face either New Zealand or West Indies in the semis at Auckland .

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