By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka pulled off an unlikely win over South Africa in the Group 1 match at Chittagong. The last two overs from Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga helped the Lankans to clinch victory from the jaws of defeat. South Africa needed 19 to get from 12 balls with the explosive David Miller and Farhaan Behardien at the crease.
Kulasekara removed Behardien with the second ball of the 19th over which went for just four runs! David Miller was left with 15 to score from Malinga’s yorkers in the final over and by the second ball got himself run out. South Africa left with no specialist batsmen finished with 160 for 8 chasing SL’s 166.
Earlier Quinton de Kock with an 18-ball 25 and JP Duminy with 39 from 30 balls seemed to have got the run chase under control. However, the Lankans managed to take wickets at key moments to stay in the contest. Skipper AB de Villiers was one of those big wickets, caught behind off Angelo Mathews at a time when SA seemed to be cruising along at 110 for 2 in the 14th over.
SL Innings: South Africa restricted Sri Lanka to 165 for 7 despite a special knock from opener Kusal Perera. Leg spinner Imran Tahir captured 3 for 26 in 4 overs to spoil Kusal Perera’s efforts.
Sri Lanka dominated the proceedings with the left-handed Kusal Perera taking Dale Steyn for 17 runs in the very first over. Imran Tahir struck twice to remove Sangakkara (14 from 18 balls) and Kusal Perera (61 from 40 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes) with his googlies.
Skipper Angelo Mathews scored a crucial 43 from 32 balls to sustain the momentum for the Lankans. South Africa got the better though by taking wickets at regular intervals.
Toss and Teams: Sri Lanka has won the toss and elected to bat first in the Group 1 Match of the ICC World T20 2014 at Chittagong.
South Africa are going into this match without their captain Faf du Plessis who is having a hamstring injury. AB de Villiers will be leading them today.
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Jean-Paul Duminy, AB de Villiers (C), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir
Sri Lanka: Kushal Janith Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (WK), Dinesh Chandimal (C), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga