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The mega-clash between Sri Lanka and South Africa in front of a sold out crowd in excess of 30,000 at Hambantota was reduced to 7 overs a side after rain threatened the existence of the contest in its entirety. The toss went Sri Lanka's way and it was no surprise to see them opt to chase in this shortened format. However, it was the Proteas who made the best use of their 7 overs posting an imposing 78-4 on the back of an excellent 30 from skipper AB de Villiers. Sri Lanka were never really in the chase with the South African pace attack enjoying the pace and bounce on offer on a quick track, and limiting the hosts to just 46-5 in their 7 over quota.
Nuwan Kulasekara took the new ball and struck in his first over, removing the dangerous Richard Levi for 4 caught brilliantly by newcomer Dilshan Munaweera. South Africa responded by taking 12 runs from Lasith Malinga's first over, giving themselves a bit of a chance in the contest. Hashim Amla, who had been in exceptional form coming into this tournament, failed to excite the scorers sufficiently, posting a 9-ball 16 before being stumped by Kumar Sangakkara off Rangana Herath.
Skipper AB de Villiers came out and played a bit a gem of an innings, smashing 30 from 13 balls before Malinga had him caught at mid-off. De Villiers' innings included 2 sixes, a boundary and a lot of 2s as he gave his team a fighting chance.
Faf du Plessis chipped in with 13, while JP Duminy came out in the final over and smashed the last two balls of the innings for a 4 and a 6 to power South Africa to a very competitive 78-4.
Mahela Jayawardene came out to open the batting with Tillakaratne Dilshan, and the Lankan skipper was lucky to survive what looked like a rather close leg before appeal first ball from his Delhi Daredevils teammate Morne Morkel. South Africa did though get an early wicket with Dilshan run out later in the over without having faced a ball. Morkel conceded just 5 runs in that over and the Proteas had the early advantage.
Sri Lanka slipped further in trouble with Dale Steyn having Mahela caught at square leg on the final ball of the second over as the hosts slid to 8-2. Morne Morkel was unlucky not to have a wicket to show for his day's effort with Sangakkara being dropped by Faf du Plessis, a tough chance, but one a South African fielder backward point would generally expect to take.
Sanga continued to live a charmed life with Albie Morkel dropping a skier. However, the veteran left-hander's luck ran out in the same over with Jacques Kallis having him caught behind by the ever reliable De Villiers for 13.
The big hitting Thisara Perera fell to Steyn for 1 in the 6th over, and that ended Sri Lanka's challenge for all practical purposes.
Dilshan Munaweera, who had struggled to take on the raw pace of the Proteas in his first exposure to cricket at this level fell for a 14-ball 13, not good enough in this kind of a run chase. The Lankan innings ended well shy of their target at 46-5 in their 7 overs.
Sri Lanka: Dilshan Munaweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene (c), Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath.
South Africa: Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (c & wk), Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn.
South Africa 78-4 (7 overs, 11.14rpo)
AB de Villiers 30 (13) R Herath 1-21
H Amla 16 (9) N Kulasekara 1-9
Sri Lanka 45-5 (7 overs, 6.57rpo)
K Sangakkara 13 (11) D Steyn 2-10
D Munaweera 13 (14) A Morkel 1-8
South Africa win by 32 runs
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