Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Ice-cold Miller aces tight chase. David Miller (23* off 13) was South Africa's Asif Ali at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium
David Miller (23* off 13) was South Africa's Asif Ali at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium
In a nutshell
David Miller (23* off 13) was South Africa's Asif Ali at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as he helped ace a chase of 142 that appeared derailed for good by Wanindu Hasaranga's hat-trick. Needing 25 to win from 12, Miller had help from Kagiso Rabada who hit a crucial six in the penultimate over, bowled by the impressive Dushmantha Chameera, before striking two big sixes in the final over from Lahiru Kumara to chase down the remaining 15 with a ball to spare.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 142 in 20 overs (Pathum Nissanka 72; Tabraiz Shamsi 3-17, Dwaine Pretorius 3-17, Anrich Nortje 2-27) lost to South Africa 146/6 in 19.5 overs (Temba Bavuma 46, David Miller 23*; Wanindu Hasaranga 3-20) by 3 wickets.
The hat-trick and the flourish
South Africa's chase, anchored by the steady Temba Bavuma (46 off 46), was rocked sideways by Hasaranga as the game entered it's final quarter. With the last ball of his third over, Hasaranga castled Aiden Markram. When he came on to bowl his fourth, South Africa needed 31 from 18. With his first ball, he got the well-set Bavuma pulling to deep mid-wicket. The pressure of the climbing required rate on a tough pitch then got to Dwaine Pretorius, who hit his first ball down long-on's throat to make Hasaranga only the third man to get a T20 World CUp hat-trick.
At the end of Hasaranga's spell, Sri Lanka had moved in control of the game, with overs from the experienced Chameera and Kumara to follow. Chameera, who had knocked over both of South Africa's openers in the PowerPlay, bowled five good balls in his final over either side of a stunning six over long-off from Rabada. Even then 15 ought to have been good enough for Kumara to defend but two length balls were routinely deposited over cow corner by Miller to keep South Africa alive and bouncing in the tournament.
STAT: Hasaranga became only the fourth player and third Sri Lankan to register hat-tricks in both T20Is and ODIs. (Others: Brett Lee, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga)
Dialing it back: The opening exchanges
South Africa, who welcomed back Quinton de Kock and won the toss, threw a matchup challenge at Sri Lanka, bowling Aiden Markram against the left-handed Kusal Perera. While the offspinner didn't get a wicket, he bowled his two overs for 8 runs. Sri Lanka got going, however, with a nine-run over off Kagiso Rabada. Anrich Nortje cleaned up Perera but Charith Asalanka got his innings underway with a pair of boundaries for shared PowerPlay honours at 39/1
The Tabraiz Shamsi show
South Africa broke a promising-looking stand between Nissanka and Asalanka thanks to a great bit of swoop and throw from the deep by Kagiso Rabada that caught Asalanka just short on his return for a second run.
Shamsi took over the middle-overs thereafter. He beat Bhanuka Rajapaksa with his dip and held on to a return catch. Avisha Fernando followed in near identical fashion before Wanindu Hasaranga failed to play out Shamsi's final over and perished at long-on. The World's No.1 T20I bowler finished with figures of 3 for 17, taking his tally in the calendar year to 32 wickets.
At the other end of this middle-overs meltdown was Nissanka, who had batted through for a risk-free 50 off 46. He cut loose thereafter, premeditating Pretorius's wide-lines by walking across the stumps and helping him over short-fine. The highlight of his batting came in the 18th over bowled by Rabada. He pulled the paceman for a six and a four and then picked the slower-ball and expertly drove it past extra-cover to bring up a 17-run over. His 72 off 58 featured six fours and three sixes and took Sri Lanka to 142, a total that West Indies had proved was defendable on this very surface yesterday. Barring that final-over Miller onslaught, it may well have been a winning total.
What next for the teams?
Sri Lanka will play at Sharjah and take on high-flying England on Monday. South Africa travel to Abu Dhabi where they face Bangladesh on Tuesday.