South Africa beat hosts Sri Lanka by a convincing 32-run margin in a rain-shortened seven-over-a-side World Twenty20 Group C match here on Saturday.
South Africa were good with both bat and ball as their pacemen never allowed the Sri Lankan batsmen to chase a daunting 79-run target. Skipper AB de Villiers smashed two sixes and a boundary during his 13-ball 30 while Hashim Amla (16) and Faf du Plessis (13) were the other main run contributors in a total of 78-4 after South Africa were sent in to bat.
Sri Lanka were without their ace spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took 6-8 in their win over Zimbabwe, after suffering from a side strain. Heavy rain delayed the start by two and a half hours as a sell-out 35,000 crowd waited anxiously for action.
Sri Lanka were never in the hunt, losing star duo Tillakaratne Dilshan (nought) and Mahela Jayawardene (four) in the first two overs. “Beating Sri Lanka is nice because they are one of the top teams and now we are ready for the Super Eights. We didn’t take anything for granted and it was nice to win,” said the South African captain.
Jayawardene said it was tough in a reduced match. “It is always tough in a rain reduced match. We were without Mendis because we didn’t want to take risk with important matches coming up. We must improve our fielding,” he said.