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We just weren't good enough - Sangakkara

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South African cricketers AB de Villiers (L) and Quinton de Kock (C) appeal successfully for a leg before wicket decision against Sri Lankan batsman Tharindu Kaushal during the 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Sydney on March 18, 2015. South African cricketers AB de Villiers (L) and Quinton de Kock (C) appeal successfully for a leg before wicket decision against Sri Lankan batsman Tharindu Kaushal during the 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Sydney on March 18, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE)

Proteas carry too much vigour - Lanka bow out of WC

SYDNEY: South Africa put up a clinically efficient display on the field to outsmart and outplay Sri Lanka in the first quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup and earn themselves a place in the semi-finals at the SCG on Wednesday.

The Proteas proved to be too good for the Lankans bundling them out for a paltry 133 inside 38 overs and then cruising home by nine wickets with plenty to spare.

Quinton de Kock who had been struggllng for form throughout the tournament hit an impressive 78 not out off 57 balls (12 fours) to lead the run chase that ended in the 18th over.

South Africa lost Hashim Amla for 16 but Faf du Plessis (21 not out) and de Kock added 94 without much trouble to see South Africa through to the next round.

South African’s performance reflected on what their skipper AB de Villiers said at the pre-match press conference that they had been planning for this tournament for the past 2-3 years and today they showed it with their performance on the field. The Proteas were simply outstanding and shell-shocked Sri Lanka were left with no answers to what confronted them.

“We just weren’t good enough,” was how batting stalwart Kumar Sangakkara described Sri Lanka’s debacle.

“They bowled pretty well at the start and losing two wickets upfront put the batters under pressure, we were playing with six batsmen and it was just a case of building partnerships trying to get something going,” he said.

“The disappointing thing was that we gave seven wickets to the spinners when they were a pace dominant attack. They bowled well the wicket helped them because it was a bit two-paced at the start but we should be disappointed with ourselves the way we played because we just weren’t good enough to get the 250-260 runs score that would have been really difficult to chase on that track.”

Both Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene bowed out of ODI cricket at the end of yesterday’s quarter-final.

After their quick bowlers Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott had removed both openers for four, spinners JP Duminy and Imran Thahir strangled the rest of the batting with some excellent tight bowling that was backed up by sharp fielding.

Sri Lanka’s top batters who had batted like a dream in the previous games were rendered strokeless as Duminy, a part-time spinner became only the eighth player to perform the hat-trick in a World Cup when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews off the final ball of his eighth over and followed it up by sending back Nuwan Kulasekara and dbutant Tharindu Kaushal off the first two balls of his ninth.

Thahir proved an ideal foil when he bowled with a lot of zest to pick up four wickets which gave him the man of the match award.

He accounted for Lahiru Thirimanne (41) and Mahela Jayawardene (4) to break the Sri Lankan middle order and later returned to clean up the innings with the wickets of Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga.

Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 14 runs in the middle-order collapse which left them rudderless.

Thirimanne promoted ahead of Jayawardene was the only batsmen who looked comfortable scoring a quick 41 off 48 balls (5 fours) and sharing the only notable partnership putting on 65 with Sangakkara who had to labour 96 balls for 45.

Sri Lanka sprung a surprise by throwing in uncapped ODI off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal after getting a late approval from ICC technical committee less than 24 hours before the start of the match replacing injured Rangana Herath from the squad.

A second surprise was that they opted to open with Kaushal Perera instead of Thirimanne who had been performing the opener’s role well with Dilshan, a move that did not pay off.

South African came to this game with a clear cut game plan for each of the Lankan players and executed them well. Their catching was outstanding and their bowling spot on.

South Africa will play the winners of the quarter-final between New Zealand and West Indies in the semi-finals at Auckland. The New Zealand-West Indies game is scheduled for Saturday at Wellington.  

SCOREBOARD

SRI LANKA

K Perera c De Kock b Abbott 3

T Dilshan c Du Plessis b Steyn 0

K Sangakkara c Miller b Morkel 45

L Thirimane c and b Thahir 41

M Jayawardene c Du Plessis b Thahir 4

A Mathews c Du Plessis b Duminy 19

T Perera c Rossouw b Thahir 0

N Kulasekara c De Kock b Duminy 1

T Kaushal lbw b Duminy 0

D Chameera not out 2

L Malinga c Miller b Thahir 3

Extras (b-4, lb-2, nb-2, w-7) 15

Total (all out, 37.2 overs) 133

Fall of wickets: 1-3 (K Perera), 2-4 (Dilshan), 3-69 (Thirimanne), 4-81 (Jayawardene), 5-114 (Mathews), 6-115 (T Perera), 7-116 (Kulasekara), 8-116 (Kaushal), 9- 127 (Sangakkara), 10-133 (Malinga).

Bowling: Steyn 7-2-18-1 (w1), Abbott 6-1-27-1 (w1), Morkel 7-1-27-1 (w2, nb2), Duminy 9-1-29-3 (w2), Thahir 8.2-0-26-4 (w1).

SOUTH AFRICA

H Amla c Kulasekara b Malinga 16

Q de Kock not out 78

F de Plessis not out 21

Extras (lb-4, nb-3, w-12) 19

Total (one wicket, 18 overs) 134

Fall of wicket: 1-40 (Amla).

Did not bat: R Roussow, AB de Villiers, D Miller, JP Duminy, D Steyn, K Abbott, M Morkel, I Thahir.

Bowling: Malinga 6-0-43-1 (w3, nb2), Dilshan 2-0-10-0, Kulasekara 1-0-13-0, Kaushal 6-0-25-0, Chameera 2-0-29-0 (w8, nb1), T Perera 1-0-10-0 (w1).

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