South Africa Pushed Sri Lanka Towards Edge

In the do or die match for Sri Lanka and match of playing for pride South Africa avalanched Sri Lanka. A resounding 9 wickets win redeemed South Africa and almost knocked out Sri Lanka.

South Africa Pushed Sri Lanka Towards Edge
Faf du Plessis scores highest 96 against Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty Images

It was too little too late for the protean. Put into bat Sri Lanka was blown away by Protean pace attack of Pretorius (3/25) , Morris (3/46) and Rabada (2/36) getting bundled out for mere 203 runs in 49.3 overs .

South Africa cruised to impressive win scoring 206/1 in 4.2 overs.

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South Africa was considered among the pre tournament favorites. Many thought that the protean would shrug off their choker tag. But losing 5 of their 7 matches they were languishing with the lesser half of the teams. Sri Lanka on the other hand came into contention surprising title aspirant England.

With 6 points in 6 matches they were hoping against hope for a last minute entry in the group of four. This loss has almost dashed their dream. Only miracle can alter case now. Otherwise with Afghanistan, West Indies and South Africa they are almost sure of flying back home early.

Now along with Australia, New Zealand, India and England, Bangladesh and Pakistan stay in the race for the elite group of four.

South African bowling spear head Rabada removing Lankan captain inform Karunaratne with the very first delivery of the innings dented the Lankans before their cheering, singing and dancing fans could even settle on the terrace.

Two youngsters MDKJ Perera (30) and WA Fernando (30) batting bravely almost salvaged them with a 67 runs 2nd wicket partnership. But Pretorius playing for the first time in the tournament turned the table removing both well set batsmen in quick succession.

From there on Sri Lankan could not recover as wickets kept tumbling at rapid frequency. DM de Silva (24), BKG Mendis (23) and NLTC Perera (21) got start but could not kick on. Pretorius (3/25), Morris (3/46) and Rabada (2/36) combined well to bundle Lankans for 203.

Such a low target set could only test South Africans if only Lankan X-factor Magical Malinga could let his deadly Yorkers going.

But apart from rattling the furniture of Q de Cock he was looked ordinary as South Africa cruised to victory riding on impressive unbeaten 175 runs second wicket partnership between veteran Hashim Alma (80*) and Captain Faf du Plessis (96*). South Africa won by 9 wickets.

Sri Lanka with 8 points from 7 matches will now have to win their last two matches against West Indies and India and also wish for some other results going their way. Very difficult and unlikely situation. South Africa in their last match against top of the table team Australia can only redeem themselves.

This win also favored the case of Bangladesh and Pakistan. If they win their remaining matches and England and New Zealand loose theirs top four may see different composition than what it is now.

ICC World Cup 2019 match No 35 Played at Chester le Street on 28 June

South Africa Vs Sri Lanka

Brief Score Card:

South Africa 206/1 in 34.2 Overs (FAF du Plessis 96*, H Amla 80*) beat Sri Lanka 203 All Out in 49.3 Overs (MDKJ Perera 30, WA Fernando 30, DM de Silva24, BKG Mendis 23, NLTC Perera 21, D Pretorius 3/25, C Morris 3/46, K Rabada 2/36) by 9 wickets

Player of the Match: Dwaine Pretorius

Saleque Sufi

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