Perfect Proteas Sink Sri Lanka

South Africa claimed its first ever ICC Cricket World Cup knock out win dispatching Sri Lanka by 9 wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals.

The Sri Lankans won the toss and opted to bat first, but lost an early wicket as Kyle Abbott removed Kushal Perera for 3 in the second over. Tillakaratne Dilshan followed when he edged a Dale Steyn delivery to second slip. The Iilanders had to work hard for every run but Lahiru Thirimanne looked confident as he scored five fours.

With the Lankans on the back foot, Imran Tahir struck as he dismissed Thirimanne. Tahir struck again as he dismissed Mahela Jayawardene. JP Duminy’s hat-trick; the second of this World Cup and first ever by a South African, and Imran Tahir’s 4/26 in 8.2 overs, saw Sri Lanka bowled out for 133.

Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock began the run chase. The Proteas have never lost while chasing a total under 150 and that record remains in tact. The openers looked in complete control, scoring runs at ease. Lasith Malinga removed the dangerous Amla at the stroke of the dinner break. After the interval De Kock brought up his fifth fifty in his ODI career to bring the run chase to within 39 runs.

De Kock’s unbeaten 78 from 55 balls and Duminy’s hat-trick brought down the curtain on the glorious ODI careers of two of finest Sri Lankan batsmen, Sangakkara and Jayawardene.