T20 World Cup: South Africa begin campaign with tricky six-wicket win over Sri Lanka

South Africa defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in a low-scoring Group D match of the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium here on Monday. It was a pitch where it was tricky to bat on, with variable bounce and big square boundaries adding to the challenge for batters on a bowler-friendly surface.

Tearaway pacer Anrich Nortje picked career-best figures of 4-7 to lead a dominant bowling performance from South Africa as they bowled out a listless Sri Lanka for just 77. Despite Sri Lanka taking four wickets, South Africa managed to complete the chase with 22 balls to spare and kick off their campaign in emphatic fashion.

In their chase of 78, South Africa lost Reeza Hendricks and captain Aiden Markram in quick succession. While Hendricks edged to the first slip off Nuwan Thushara, Markram gave a leading edge on the on-drive to slip for a low catch off Dasun Shanaka.

Quinton de Kock hung around to make a 27-ball 20 before giving a return catch to Wanindu Hasaranga off his own bowling. Charith Asalanka pulled off a stunning catch with both hands at short cover to have Tristan Stubbs dismissed for 13 off 28 balls on Hasaranga’s bowling.

Heinrich Klaasen lofted Hasaranga for a six and four respectively, before David Miller finished off the chase of the small target by driving the Sri Lanka skipper wide of long-on for four more to ensure South Africa began their campaign on a high note.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 77 all out in 19.1 overs (Kusal Mendis 19; Anrich Nortje 4-7, Kagiso Rabada 2-21) lost to South Africa 80/4 in 16.2 overs (Quinton de Kock 20; Wanindu Hasaranga 2-22, Dasun Shanaka 1-6) by six wickets

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