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South Africa vs Srilanka: South Africa Edge Low Scoring Battle

By on June 4, 2009

icc world twenty20 Herschelle Gibbs

South Africa 113 for 4 (Gibbs 48) beat Sri Lanka 109 for 9 (Botha 2-9, Kallis 2-12)…

The South Africans got home with five balls to spare despite only being asked to chase 110 after a dramatic early collapse in the Asian team’s innings.

Sri Lanka had to get early wickets and Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera duly obliged by striking in each of their first overs to remove Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis cheaply.

South Africa had reached only 38-2 at the halfway stage although their paltry target meant they were still in the match.

Runs became easier to come by as a partnership between Herschelle Gibbs (48) and AB de Villiers (32) developed into a match-winning alliance of 70 before the latter fell to leave another 33 to get off 30 balls.

Gibbs fell with 14 needed but JP Duminy (12 not out) and Mark Boucher (8 not out) saw their team through with little fuss.

Sri Lanka’s innings never fully recovered from an early blast from pace bowler Dale Steyn, who finished with 2-14 from his four overs.

Tillakaratne Dilshan dispatched Steyn over midwicket for six off the third ball of the innings before he was caught driving to cover next delivery.

Steyn struck again in his next over when he trapped Sanath Jayasuriya leg-before, as the left-hander attempted to work the ball away on the leg-side. Another wicket fell at the end of the same over when Jehan Mubarak was smartly run out by Gibbs as he went for a quick single into the covers.

When spin was introduced Mahela Jayawardena’s reverse-sweep went horribly awry as he was bowled through his legs by Johan Botha.

Wicketkeeper Boucher then took a fine one-handed catch diving to his right as Chamara Silva dabbed Kallis tentatively outside off-stump.

Botha came around the wicket to Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara (17) and had a vociferous appeal for leg before upheld as the left-hander played back.

Indika de Saram then skied Kallis to Smith at mid-off to leave the innings in tatters at 44-7.

Angelo Mathews (28) and Farveez Maharoof (11) restored a semblance of respectability for the batting side in a stand of 31 before the latter was caught on the boundary off pace man Wayne Parnell.

Kulasekara (24 not out) helped Mathews take the Sri Lankans close to three figures before the latter fell in the last over.

Kulasekera then took 10 off Albie Morkel’s last two balls to ensure his team avoided the ignominy of failing to reach 100.

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